Tell us what's happened to you recently (that's interesting)


Glad you’re okay @ArmandoPenblade. Talk to the billing office; even a discount would help and the worst they can do is say you don’t qualify.


No one likes going to doctors.

Well, except me. My doc is awesome, and I see him quarterly because my blood pressure is a nightmare without drugs, so he insists on personally checking every three months for even the slightest deviation.

But yeah, docs can be scary. Totally get it.


I don’t really find 'em scary. Just, more often than not, when I’ve gone, it’s been a “waste of time.” My back hurts a lot, I go, they do some scans, give me some pills, and a month later, my back still hurts. I wake up feeling like I’m gonna vomit every day for six months straight, I go, I swallow some barium and take some X-Rays, and a month later, I still wake up sick every morning.

It’s just like, I dunno, maybe I keep getting shitty doctors or something, but it feels like the problems never really go away, so what’s the point after awhile?

Sorry, I really feel like I’m bogarting this thread right now. My brain, as you might imagine, is in a weird place :)


Seconding (thirding?) this. A disagreeable chore, but one that can potentially save a lot of money and hassle. Also, you might be able to structure a payment schedule with the billing department that’s on more favorable terms than a credit card.

Very glad you’re OK!


Oh yeah.This is completely true, even without massive discounts or write-offs, you might be able to get very, very low interests rates, sometimes no interest depending on the company, and have it go for a few years. The key though is to talk to them.


I assume I should wait until the bill comes through and my insurance works out whatever they’re going to work out before begging for mercy, correct?

(That’s not meant snarky; I haven’t really dealt with that kinda thing before)

(well, apart from that time I tried to help my gf figure out the arcane passageways of CharityCare at REX hospitals for like 2 months, but given our “success” there I am far from an expert)


Yes, correct. If you have any other appointments coming up, you’re going to want to have as much of that as you can on that application, just in case of a write-down or write-off. Most large hospitals have an entire department set up for this, and they are very friendly and helpful.

You generally can wait a few months, just don’t let it go to collection.


Just remember that
a) The explanation of benefits is not a bill
b) wait for the actual bill
c) your insurance company is very likely to screw up what is and isn’t covered, so first you need to make sure they paid their share correctly (the EOB works for this)
d) it always takes forever and ever of talking to insurance people to get them to pay, so log your calls and get names for future reference


Just adding on to arrendek:

Never pay a medical bill either from the hospital, doctor or any other medical provider until you get the final EOB from your insurance company. If the EOB, says any part of the claim is still in process, don’t pay the bill yet, and, if you get billed again, let the provider know that’s what you’re waiting for. In short, you shouldn’t pay the bill until you know exactly how much the insurance company is going to pay and how much is left that you owe. Don’t take the hospital or doctor’s bill as gospel on that.

Also, it’s common for an EOB to state that insurance company is waiting on additional information from the hospital or doctor to determine the amount the insurance co. will pay. It’s perfectly OK to wait that out. If you get flak from the hospital or doctor, just tell them the insurance co. says they’re waiting on information from you guys(the hospital or doctor).

Most physicians’ practices these days are owned by the hospital system, so you’ll probably get only one, unified bill. If the physicians are independent, however, you’ll get two bills. In any case, if the physicians belong to your insurance company’s network, they can’t bill you for the balance beyond what the insurance company pays, and, in some states, they can’t bill you for the balance even if they don’t belong to the hospital’s network.

As arrendek says, the EOB isn’t gospel either. Insurance companies screw up on what’s covered just like everybody else. Don’t be shy about questioning any denial on the EOB. If you still think they’re wrong, they have (by law) an appeal process which you shouldn’t hesitate to use. If you STILL think they’re screwing you over, every state’s insurance department has a complaint process. You’d be surprised at the alacrity with which insurance companies respond to complaint queries from their state regulator.

This is just the highlights (or low lights). I’ve been working in the wide, wonderful world of health insurance from the medical provider, insurer and insurance regulator sides for decades. So if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me a message.


You guys are fucking awesome. Thank you all for the advice :-D

As I mentioned over in the cooking thread, I catered for my dear friend Marisol’s first annual pumpkin carving party today. The noms are in that thread, so here’s some fun shots from our day :)

First Mari and I loaded up about $70 worth of pumpkins into her giant-ass SUV at the farmer’s market near my house. We then got word from her bf that his best friend was in town from NY and coming with to the party tonight. . . and was vegan. Cue emergency grocery scramble to ensure he could eat :)

However, we got a little distracted by the automated miniature doughnut machine at the farmer’s market and had to buy a bucket of doughnuts. And a giant bag of kettle corn. But also fresh apples and lots of root veggies and chestnuts for the fire pit. We then parted ways and I grabbed ice cream and tofu for the guests and she went home to prep.

Pumpkins! And doughnuts! And kettle corn! And adorable kids’ pumpkin carving kits :)

Her bf Justin slowly carving the top off his enormous pumpkin. Like him, it is comically oversized. Pictured behind him is a Maasai spear from Africa that Mari’s dad brought to her as a present once. She has . . . a LOT of strange weapons scattered around the joint.

Food pix are in the other thread, so here’s a glory shot of the first pumpkin I’ve ever carved! Meet ArmandoPumpkinblade, complete with unibrow!

Sorry for no other pumpkin pics, but I sadly had to bounce from the party early, but still, a dozen other folks were still there, merrily carving away and making burritos for themselves :)


I like the upswing this thread took. :)


I love those things, especially since I noticed that one of the common ones is literally called “Donut Robot Mk 2”:


Hey, my family went out to Enumclaw to a pumpkin patch a few weeks back and came back with a few. Today my kids decorated one to look like a pirate:


Interesting? Maybe not, but I am happy and want to share.

My wife and I are in the process of adopting. Our plan was to have already had all of our kids by now, but the universe had other plans.

Anyway, over the weekend, we won a grant from a local non-profit worth five thousand (!) dollars to help fund our adoption. We had done our financial planning assuming we wouldn’t get it, so it’s going to help a LOT, and it feels like the first thing to have worked in our favor since we started trying to have children.


Congrats! And thank you for adopting, that’s real class act stuff.


The first time I passed a gall stone I thought I might be having a heart attack, spasms of pain, back and shoulders, with a quickened heart beat. Scared the crap out of me. I went and saw a doctor a few days later and found out I needed to get the gall bladder yanked out.


That is so nice and congratulations!! :)


Congratulations! The world needs more folks like you.

Ack! I assume removal went well or you’d be too busy passing stones to tell us about it.


I only popped in this part of QT3 today and have been reading through a lot of stuff. Reading a few of the posts here about medical stuff and hospitalizations just makes me feel so sad for the parts of the world where being sick is so fucking costly, plus makes me feel lucky for the health care we receive for free in Scandinavia.
I can’t really imagine having to pay such exorbitant amounts of money for getting WELL and staying alive. Jeez, it’s just preposterous.
Shit. Really you guys, I’m so, so sad that this is what so many parts of the world looks like.


My wife had her gall bladder out two months after our son was born. She had accumulated “sludge” and it was giving her intense pain, so they just decided it was time to go. I remember after surgery, her surgeon came to give me the rundown, trying to explain how her gall bladder was kind of misshapen, like I know what a gallbladder is supposed to look like. Anyway, mainly I remember him using the word “gnarly” to describe it.