Today I talked to the billing lady at my Doc's office.  It was my first visit with him and I was after a simple visit that Medicare says I get for free every year.  He has only been taking Medicare patients for a few months and the bill had a $115 dollar charge on my "free" visit. 

   The empathetic insurance agent had tried to explain the charge to me and almost convinced me that it was just because of the deductible.  She offered no hope.  However when I called and talked to the billing lady at the Doc's office she was very concerned that I was unhappy and repeated several times that they didnt want to lose a patient.

    She talked to me for a long time and I even paid and hung up at one point when she called me back and offered an extremely complicated plan and said she would get back to me in a couple weeks.  Ha.  She knows how difficult it is to talk to the medicare people. I really did appreciate how discouraged she was at the whole system.  Exhausting for everyone.

    I dont know if she was a Republican but I can see how the Tea Party and all this right wing stuff got started.  No one likes dealing with the government.  When I worked at the hospital i often used the quote of the scariest words you can hear..."Im from the Government and I'm here to help you."

    When I worked at the Alzheimer Center we were inspected frequently.  I can understand why as there is so much abuse in the world and we were helping a very vulnerable population.   However, the inspections, especially in the kitchen, were so silly.  The inspector would inspect all sorts of funny things and our 80 yr old cook would promptly ignore all the suggestions and just do things her way.  She drove us all nuts but it was kind of fun to see Vera deal with those inspectors. 

    I know Gov Money is tainted.  I understand that I should have prepared better for old age and that the Medicare/Pension system is a drain on the country.  Some people say that we paid into that system but the truth is that we only paid a small part of what it takes to get us to death....of course it is different for every person as some die young.

     As ridiculous as the government is I am very glad to be in this American system.  I have been in other systems and we have it pretty good here.  Socialist countries are nice but a little slow.  Most countries are in chaos.  Communism doesnt work because no competition is not good for the soul.  Capitalism isnt working either and I like how Bernie is leading us toward the left...he isnt afraid of gov regulations.  He is old tho.  I think there is something new coming on the horizon....compassionate government. 

      I was so happy dealing with my two polite billing agents today.   They soothed me.  The insurance agent even said, "ahhh" and I knew she could feel that the $115 is not something that is easy for most people to just pay.   Besides I wanted the free exam...I liked that it was offered even tho it was soooo complicated to get it. 

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Comment by JMac1949 Today on December 30, 2015 at 10:53pm

Doctors charge what they think they can get away with.  Could be worse, could be a hospital ER visit!!!  Insane.  R&L Happy New Year.

Comment by Zanelle on December 30, 2015 at 11:43pm

I was all set to be mad at the rich doctor but really they have a tough time making it all work too.  I guess.  I dont know anymore.   Doctors, Police and Politicians all used to be someone you could trust when I was young.  I dont anymore.

Comment by Zanelle on December 31, 2015 at 4:46am

Thanks, Terry.  I know I need a little care or else I will become desperate and that wont be pretty.

Comment by Zanelle on December 31, 2015 at 4:51am

jmac...there are very strict rules about what docs can bill for.  Apparently the free visit is only if everything goes ok...if you even talk about some medical problem then that is not a friendly free visit and turns into a medical visit and even if it is in the fifteen minutes of free talk...that they bill 3o0 some dollars for....then they can add an extra 175 dollars.   My doc wasnt even going to get paid for the free visit because there was some confusion about whether it had been a year since my last blood work or medical test.  So docs dont charge what they think they can get away with...well, actually they do...but they dont exactly know what that is so it is all complicated and open to interpretation.  I think most doctors have this pretty much down but this guy is new to the whole thing and cringing at having to deal with the poor people.  Very nice tho.

Comment by Zanelle on December 31, 2015 at 6:19am

The VA is a good example of Government help.  I know they try and they do help but it is so Big that they can get lost.  Just saw Donald Trump complaining about gov regulations on HAIR SPRAY~  lol    So funny.  He doesnt really care about the ozone layer when his hair is at stake.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on December 31, 2015 at 6:36am

It'd be far more of an economic 'drain' for old people to show up in droves to public hospital emergency rooms. Medicare has kept many old people (and others*) working, paying taxes, bying more goods and services than were we not to hav Mdicare. It is a clear win.

* I hav used Medicare since I was 48. I'm 65 in January. I qualified as a renal transplantee; the program helpd keep us solvent, productive.

Comment by tr ig on December 31, 2015 at 8:27am

You mention Bernie who, as we all well know, would like to see a single-payer medicare system in place. That's what Obama SAID he wanted too. I thought he sold out much too quickly .. so we end up with a mandate to buy insurance from corporations which makes me sad. Still. thank goodness for old people Medicare, f*d up as it might be.

Comment by alsoknownas on December 31, 2015 at 8:45am

I had one of those 35 year young Ayn Rand everybody for themselves sort of Republicans try to explain to me why we should be rid of Medicare and Social Security. He was bold enough to tell me that I should have prepared better for my dotage.

I told him straight up that if I had not been paying into the system since I was 16 that he would have had to take care of his grandma instead of me, and I sure wasn't going to go along with him getting off the hook now when my turn is coming up.

Comment by Myriad on December 31, 2015 at 9:13am

At the risk of annoying people with my mantra, but WHY AREN'T YOU-ALL RIOTING IN THE STREETS?!  My dealings with the government re health care are nil - it's all behind the scenes.  When I need something, I go to doctor or hospital or wherever - recently had a bit of a scare and went to walk-in (because it would take a few days to see my doc and it was nearly the weekend - and the system is such that newcomers to the province get plugged into the system right away so I got a doc w.o. even looking) and the walk-in sent me to emerg and emerg sent me to opthamologist and for a brain scan.  What would that have cost me in the U.S. at 115 for a simple office exam? (or the time my daughter had to get a prescription while visiting in Seattle and it required a 3-min. consult at ER and we paid 3 hundred and something and when we got home got a bill for another 1500 or something (we had travel insurance, so no prob, but WTF).

Comment by koshersalaami on December 31, 2015 at 9:35am
Don't assume the private sector is more competent


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