I just received a thick packet from BlueCrossBlueShield with a number of Explanations of Benefits. All were generated by a visit I made to my dermatologist several weeks ago for a routine check-up..
Here are the charges:
1.Office visit: $230
2. Surgery: $360
3. Surgery: $1212
4. Pathology: $506
5. Pathology: $534
Total Charged: $2842
I will be billed $519.53 co-insurance; my insurance company paid $2078.49. Presumably lost in space: $243.98.
The appointment took about 30 minutes. My doctor examined me and found a suspicious spot. The nurse came in to ask me questions and explain the procedure. The doctor came in and injected me with lydocaine and took a small skin scraping. This was sent to pathology. The nurse called me two weeks later to say the biopsy showed melanoma and I will need further surgery. My prior post mentions that I will meet the surgeon first (translated: office visit); she will remove the spot (surgery); she will send it to pathology, probably a number of times until it shows clear margins. I estimate this will cost $3450, based on charges incurred until now for said spot.
Folks, that's $6242 to slice a piece of my skin.
Sure, I want to get rid of the cancer but how will I feed myself?
Aside from what my husband pays for health insurance outright ($6000), we've already paid thousands more in drug co-pays and other charges. I'm applying for financial aid from Memorial Sloan Kettering to forgive over $4500 in charges from outpatient services. I owe the doctors about $2500. Our family deductible kicks in at $7000 which I'm sure we've already topped.
My husband has a good job, and I don't mind paying out-of-pocket what's reasonable. After all, having health insurance has probably saved my life. Two provisions of Obamacare matter here: pre-existing conditions won't leave me in the lurch, starting in 2014;
lifetime payouts can't be limited. I don't know when that one starts.
I should live so long.