Saturday, December 15, 2018

Passing The (600) Buck(s)

Farmer H goes to the doctor for a shot every week. He takes the medicine, they just poke him with it. On our last insurance(s), this didn't cost us anything. Since Farmer H retired and dropped his plan, it costs $6. No big deal. Sometimes there's a snafu with the billing, and Farmer H's doctor office sends us a bill for several at a time. Again, no big deal. Farmer H usually pays them the next time he's in the office.

Last Friday, Farmer H was at the doctor when I opened the mail. We had a letter from his old insurance, stating they wouldn't pay, because charges were submitted after the plan had ended. Huh. That's unusual. Why are charges being submitted to a plan we haven't had for over a year? I looked closer at the itemized charges, and they were for Farmer H's routine blood test that he has every six months. The charges totaled just over $600. The insurance letter of course said that we were responsible for the charges.

I sent Farmer H a text, hoping to catch him before he left the office, so he could ask if they had submitted the blood test to the wrong insurance. They told him that was odd. Like they didn't believe what he was telling them. He showed them my text. His nurse practitioner called the lab, and verified that charges were submitted to our current insurance. Farmer H said he'd bring in the letter on Monday, so they could see for themselves.

On Monday, the receptionist took a copy of the letter, and said she'd see what was going on, and tell him on Friday. She also commented that the lab had sent HER bill to the wrong insurance, too. Farmer H added that he wasn't going to pay those charges, and the receptionist assured him that they would get it worked out.

Here's the thing. There's either a colossal breach of confidentiality here, or the lab is submitting to the wrong insurance and not admitting to it. The old insurance has no business knowing what medical procedures Farmer H has now. Their rights to that ended when their coverage ended.

Something is fishy here.

7 comments:

River said...

Definitely something fishy and I hope it gets sorted vey quickly. I also hope 'they' find out where and how the mistake has occurred so it doesn't happen again. And now I'm wondering how many people actually check these things instead of just paying up when they don't need to. Maybe someone has hacked into the files and is sending out random letters and somehow harvesting the money.

Hillbilly Mom said...

River,
We actually got billed twice from Farmer H's old hospital (before it went out of business). They passed the buck on to their billing office in the city, saying that's where the mix-up occurred. Huh. I bet they weren't returning money to people who paid twice! We didn't, because I'm a complainer! I had my documents to prove it was a double bill for the exact same charges, and proof of payment.

fishducky said...

Insurance covers everything except what you need at that moment!!

River said...

I keep stuff like that too. I once got an overpayment from Social security when we moved interstate and they didn't realise. When I went in and told them, along with a cheque to repay the money, THEN I started getting letters about 'overpayment' and threatening actions and penalising future payments etc. I had to go in every week for a month to show the receipt where I'd paid back the money. I began to think I should have just kept the overpayment in the first place. $500 is a lot when there's three small kids in the house and none are yet in school.

Hillbilly Mom said...

fishducky,
That's the perfect tagline for insurance. Well. Not so good for THEM. But the perfect description.

***
River,
Yeah, Sis and I went round and round with the Social Security people. They acted like we should have kept Mom's check, just so they could send us nasty letters to pay it back! It was a full-time job for Sis to make them quit sending the checks.

Honest is never overrated, either! Even Steven would have come calling if you didn't do the right thing.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Insurance companies do the dumbest things. We paid twice one month, but instead of applying the over payment to the next month, they sent a refund check, then a demand for payment with late fees attached. Took forever to straighten out.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Kathy,
We haven't heard any more about it, but no news can be good news. At least we haven't gotten a bill. There. That should magically make one appear in the mailbox...

I believe insurance companies exist in order to raise blood pressure, and thus ensure themselves business for perpetuity.