Friday, April 9, 2010

When to go to the doctor?

We realized yesterday that Pat's insurance policy changed drastically on Jan. 1 and that change will be affecting our pocketbook once the bill for Julius' two doctor visits in the last week hits our mailbox.
Last year, we paid $25 for a non-wellness check to the pediatrician and we had several of them as both children had colds and other issues and needed to be seen.
Well, when Julius woke up last Friday and sounded like he had swallowed a seal I didn't hesitate to call the doctor... that is why we have health care insurance.
When we got there the front desk clerk said we didn't have a co-pay anymore for Cigna and I was pleasantly surprised... no more having to pay the $25.
I should have realized there was more to the story.
Anyway, Julius had his much needed doctor's appointment on Friday and a 15-minute check-up on Monday to make sure he was OK. There is no way we could have gone without him going to the doctor so there are no regrets in taking him.
When I logged on to the insurance company's Web site to see if they had filed our claims, I saw how much our part of the bill would be.
Our bill for the two visits totaled at $216.96!
We are now responsible for paying a $4,000 deductible before the insurance company pays the first penny... although they are working with the doctor's office on a more acceptable price. The two bills filed to the insurance company were about $350.
When the human resources people were explaining changes to insurance last year, Pat said they talked about cutting costs. I think he missed the part about it costing the employee more if he used it.
I called the insurance company yesterday on an unrelated matter and asked about these very drastic changes and the woman I spoke to said that companies are pushing to make their employees think before they go to the doctor.
Hmm, I thought I already did that! I'm just thankful that we didn't end up at the emergency room with Julius as that would have probably cost us thousands instead of hundreds of dollars!

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