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Old 03-21-2013, 12:24 AM
 
4,693 posts, read 5,237,485 times
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I was in the hospital in December. After I was released they sent me to a community clinic. I had no insurance at the time and they were confident I would get financial aid. After a couple of doctors visits I had my meeting with their financial department. They rejected me saying my income is too high for someone with no dependents. I have since recieved my $400 bill and they will only accept large payments, which is difficult for me because I have other medical blls as well. They would not work with me at all.

I am now getting my health insurance. I will be able to go to pretty much any doctor for a small co-pay. I am wondering if I should go back to this clinic? I am leaning against it because I don't think it's fair that I pay full price while the majority of their patients are freebies or reduced price. Yet I am a conflicted because I like my doctor and would like to see her again. What should I do?
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:17 AM
 
13,500 posts, read 17,504,592 times
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A good doctor that you actually like is hard to find. She's both...keep that in mind.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,045 posts, read 22,809,005 times
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I see your dilemma but I think purehuman makes a good point. A good doctor that you feel comfortable with is worth a lot. I would go back.
Something to consider, at the end of your next appointment, you might (calmly, politely) tell the doctor that you feel a little frustrated that you are paying full price for your past visits, cash, from before you had coverage, and that they would not be flexible with the price at all, and ask her if she knows if there is anyone else you might talk to in the office. Can't hurt to ask and she might be able to help or point you in the direction of someone more helpful in the business office.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,251 posts, read 40,155,546 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay F View Post
I was in the hospital in December. After I was released they sent me to a community clinic. I had no insurance at the time and they were confident I would get financial aid. After a couple of doctors visits I had my meeting with their financial department. They rejected me saying my income is too high for someone with no dependents. I have since recieved my $400 bill and they will only accept large payments, which is difficult for me because I have other medical blls as well. They would not work with me at all.

I am now getting my health insurance. I will be able to go to pretty much any doctor for a small co-pay. I am wondering if I should go back to this clinic? I am leaning against it because I don't think it's fair that I pay full price while the majority of their patients are freebies or reduced price. Yet I am a conflicted because I like my doctor and would like to see her again. What should I do?
You'll be able to see your doctor for a small co-pay. You won't have to bear the burden of covering the cost of uninsured people who can't afford to pay full price anymore. They will accept smaller payments those payments are reasonable. Such as - more than it costs to process the payment. So if you offer them $100 up front, and $100 in a month, and the balance the month later, they'll probably be fine with that. If you offer them $20 a week, the cost of processing a payment might mean that it's costing them $20 when all is said and done, and it wouldn't be worth $20 to process 20 payments of $20 each.

Offer them bigger payments, and definitely return to that doctor. They have a sliding scale, and your income simply didn't qualify. Lots of people don't qualify - and clinics generally have to consider the number of people who DO qualify for reduced costs, and take that into account when they determine who has to pay more, or even full price.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:59 PM
 
4,693 posts, read 5,237,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
You'll be able to see your doctor for a small co-pay. You won't have to bear the burden of covering the cost of uninsured people who can't afford to pay full price anymore. They will accept smaller payments those payments are reasonable. Such as - more than it costs to process the payment. So if you offer them $100 up front, and $100 in a month, and the balance the month later, they'll probably be fine with that. If you offer them $20 a week, the cost of processing a payment might mean that it's costing them $20 when all is said and done, and it wouldn't be worth $20 to process 20 payments of $20 each.

Offer them bigger payments, and definitely return to that doctor. They have a sliding scale, and your income simply didn't qualify. Lots of people don't qualify - and clinics generally have to consider the number of people who DO qualify for reduced costs, and take that into account when they determine who has to pay more, or even full price.

So would you say clinics that treat the poor for free charge more for a visit than a private doctor would?
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:00 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,251 posts, read 40,155,546 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay F View Post
So would you say clinics that treat the poor for free charge more for a visit than a private doctor would?
Private practices generally don't treat poor people for free at all. Some, however, accept medicaid, which is government-subsidized health care for lower income residents.

Clinics are known for treating lower-income residents on a sliding scale, and/or free. They are also known for treating people who don't have insurance, regardless of their ability to pay or not. San Francisco made the "free clinic" concept famous in the 1960's.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:52 PM
 
4,693 posts, read 5,237,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
Private practices generally don't treat poor people for free at all. Some, however, accept medicaid, which is government-subsidized health care for lower income residents.

Clinics are known for treating lower-income residents on a sliding scale, and/or free. They are also known for treating people who don't have insurance, regardless of their ability to pay or not. San Francisco made the "free clinic" concept famous in the 1960's.
This clinic charged me $190 per visit. Could it actually be less at a private practice?
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,808 posts, read 94,163,850 times
Reputation: 48966
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay F View Post
I was in the hospital in December. After I was released they sent me to a community clinic. I had no insurance at the time and they were confident I would get financial aid. After a couple of doctors visits I had my meeting with their financial department. They rejected me saying my income is too high for someone with no dependents. I have since recieved my $400 bill and they will only accept large payments, which is difficult for me because I have other medical blls as well. They would not work with me at all.

I am now getting my health insurance. I will be able to go to pretty much any doctor for a small co-pay. I am wondering if I should go back to this clinic? I am leaning against it because I don't think it's fair that I pay full price while the majority of their patients are freebies or reduced price. Yet I am a conflicted because I like my doctor and would like to see her again. What should I do?
Well I think you need to talk to them again. If you are willing to pay anything they should accept that. If not, yes, change doctors..We all know the medical field is a business just like any other and yes, they have a right to their money, but when they seem to put money before anything it is time to re-evaluate..
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Florida
746 posts, read 1,532,384 times
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That place that only accepts large payments.......
I believe that under contract law, if you give them a small payment and they refuse it, that they have violated the contract and thereby voiding it......and letting you off the hook.
You could check with one of those fee legal counselors. You should know when you do this that this is not well known and any lawyer you see should do the research. This could start a whole new way of doing business.

I learned of this from reading about a mortgage payment that was refused and returned because it was less than the amount due.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:05 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,251 posts, read 40,155,546 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhZone View Post
That place that only accepts large payments.......
I believe that under contract law, if you give them a small payment and they refuse it, that they have violated the contract and thereby voiding it......and letting you off the hook.
You could check with one of those fee legal counselors. You should know when you do this that this is not well known and any lawyer you see should do the research. This could start a whole new way of doing business.

I learned of this from reading about a mortgage payment that was refused and returned because it was less than the amount due.
Well sure if you want to go the legal route - be my guest. Just remember that IF they have to take a smaller payment, they have the right to tack on payment fees.

Just like credit cards do - for the same reason. You got your work done on credit, it's time to pay it off. You can't afford to pay it in full? Then there's going to be interest charged. And if you pay less than the minimum, they'll also add a fee, in addition to the interest. If you continue to go that route the whole time, if you're lucky, you MIGHT have that $500 paid off some time in 2040. And you will have paid around $4,000 for the privilege of paying off less than the minimum over time.

You'd be better off charging it to your credit card and paying off the credit card monthly. Unless you have continually made bad financial choices in your life and not learned from them. In which case, you deserve to have to pay $4,000 between now and 2040 on a $500 bill.
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