Friday, January 09, 2009

Co-Pay Surprise

Our health-insurance card says we have a $20 co-pay for an office visit and a $100 co-pay to go to the emergency room. Because all labs, x-rays, etc, are included in the one co-pay for an office visit, I naively assumed it was the same for ER.


Turns out that the bill for Gary's broken and smooshed and chopped-up finger was $1700, and $600 of that is our portion of the bill. That's not what I was expecting -- not that we really could've made a different choice about his care that day. But boy oh boy, if anybody had a thought of going to ER for something that isn't absolutely necessary and that can't be handled at home, this pricing would sure cure you of that bad habit!

And this is why it worried me so much that the grown-up kids would be bopping along without health insurance.


  1. Yeah it worries me too Susan. My sister and her husband and their kid bop around with no insurance... eeps! I keep trying to see where they are in the process of getting it, but they seem to be waiting for this magical moment when all the stars will align and they will have insurance. I know some of it for them is money stuff, but they don't realize how much money they would be spending if something happened right now.

  2. When I can, I go to one of those ER places that are not at a hospital (here they are called Redi-Med). They can do x-rays and labs,etc. and they are covered under a doctor's copay, not a hospital one, and so are all the labs, xrays and such.

    My doctor's office is at the hospital, when Maggie fell when she was little, he sent us down the hall for a CAT scan - ended up paying $400 for it because it was the hospital, not the in the end, it even discourages me from seeing my regular doctor if I know anything from a blood test to an x-ray, etc. is necessary.

  3. Oh, Lora, that's helpful to know. They just opened an urgent-care center in the Shopko that recently opened about a mile from the house. When I saw their ads, it looked like the only services they provide are things I'd never go to the doctor for anyhow. But maybe it would behoove me to scout them out and see just what they can do. Thanks.

  4. You're lucky that all your extra stuff is covered under your office visit co-pay. The last time I went to the doctor my labs alone were $150 for my share and that didn't count the $150 I paid for my share of the office visit.