Thursday, March 13, 2014

Would my blood test still cost $1,132 if the US had a public health option?

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/05/obamacare-costs-still-too-high

Democrats should admit Obamacare's failures and campaign instead for a public option. It's the only way to bring costs down

theguardian.com, Wednesday 5 March 2014

I recently went for a routine blood test as part of my yearly physical and went back to the same lab I had been going to for the same test the last few years. This time however, after handing over my insurance card, I was told they were no longer an "in-network provider" for my health insurance carrier (my carrier is one of the biggest in the country). At first, I didn't care since my insurance plan allows me to see any provider, in-network or not. The difference is in the co-pay. No co-pay for the blood test with an in-network provider, a co-pay for out of network.
Given that the temperature outside was around 4F (-15.6C) with -10F (-23.3C) wind chills I was inclined to stay where I was and fork over what I thought would be a $25 or $50 co-pay. I figured that in the time it took to put on my sweater, scarf, coat, hat, gloves and warm up the car, I could stay where I was and just be done with it.

So I asked the administrator what the co-pay would be. She said she couldn't tell me since she didn't have my specific plan information, but she could tell me the cost of the blood test and the co-pay would probably be in the 20-30% range. I asked her to look it up since I had decided to stay and get it over with. Until she told me the cost of the blood test: $1,132.

Needless to say, I had no problem putting on my sweater, hat, gloves and scarf and braving the wind chills to drive to an in-network lab to pay nothing.

Plenty of Americans have stories similar to mine of mind-boggling healthcare expenses and bureaucracy. It's one of Obamacare's biggest failures – one that will never be fixed as long as Obamacare remains in it's present form – and it has nothing to do with website glitches.

Aside from the very real and obvious problems that Obamacare will never sign up anywhere near the number of young, healthy uninsured Americans needed to make the system viable, Obamacare does nothing to address the root problem in healthcare: costs, which have a domino affect on everything.


Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/05/obamacare-costs-still-too-high

No comments: