Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Medical bills could give me night terrors

Little Bit woke screaming last night. We rushed into the room to find him sitting upright in the middle of the bed. He wasn't fully awake and continued to scream, cry, or say, "No!" every now and then. I got him to lie down, snuggled up to him, and tried to comfort him. About 15-20 minutes later, he was finally breathing deeper and obviously in a deeper sleep. My first thought was night terrors. Screaming, sweating, thrashing around, impossible to wake up - yep. Supposedly night terrors aren't remembered the next day. He was his usual bright and happy self this morning.

Medical bills and statements from my insurance for the two ER visits this year have been trickling in. Now we're really seeing the disadvantage of working for a small company versus a big company. My insurance coverage is nowhere as good as it was at my previous job. Based on what my current insurance paid and the bills from the doctors, hospital, technicians, etc, we owe $2000+ for two ER visits! Compare this to the coverage at my previous job: Little Bit spent two and a half weeks in the NICU. We paid $0, even though the total bill for all the NICU costs (room, nurses, doctors, labs, xrays, specialists, etc) and my labor/delivery was about a quarter of a million dollars. Again, we paid zero dollars. My insurance at the time, with the large company I worked for, covered it all.

Daycare has a program that will pay up to $5000 towards the medical bills not covered by personal insurance when a child is hurt in their care. So at least we won't have to try to squeeze $2000+ out of thin air.

The whole "in-network" "out-of-network" thing is a crock, too. The first hospital ER we went to was "out-of-network", so not very much insurance coverage. OK. Lesson learned. We went to a different hospital ER for the second incident. My insurance statements say that the hospital was "in-network", so the only thing to worry about was my deductible. However, the doctor who treated Little Bit's arm at the in-network hospital ER is considered "out-of-network". WTF!? That means we owe the ER doc close to $800. That's bulls---!!!


Anonymous said...

When my daughter was in an "in-network" hospital but saw an out of network neonatologist I fought them on it and won. I argued that we chose an in network hospital and were not given any choice of doctor, so could not reasonably be expected refuse care. We made all the right choices and I could not be expected to choose about a network when I had no access to information.

Nina said...

I went to an in-network hospital and then later got a bill for the "out of network" anesthesiologist. A tart but polite letter explained that it was reasonable to assume that the people working in an in-network hospital were also in-network. Goddamit.

Anyway, they paid up. So do try appealing that last one, you've got nothing to lose...