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I went to the emergency department with a kidney stone yesterday.
Here's the estimate I was provided at discharge.
- ER Level 4: $4,631.94
- Insurance contractual discount: -$4,154.03
- Adjusted estimated charges: $477.91
- Estimated insurance responsibility: -$257.33
- Patient co-pay: $125.00
- Patient applied co-insurance: $95.58
- Estimated patient responsibility: $220.58
So, I paid $220.58 on my way out the door (on a credit card). I imagine I'll also be receiving bills from the ED physician and radiologist.
What really amazes me about this estimate is the fact that $4,154.03 (almost 90% of the bill) was written off because of the contract between the hospital and Blue Cross.
Keep in mind that doesn't mean Blue Cross paid this amount. It just goes into oblivion. But it was a made-up number in the first place. No reasonable person believes that $4,631.94 is an appropriate amount of money for a visit to the emergency department.
Now imagine that I didn't have insurance. What would my bill have been? $4,631.94.
So, all you folks out there that buy into the propaganda that we don't need health care reform, be glad you have insurance. The system is stacked against the most vulnerable.