Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

We just got the final bill total for Hubby's pacemaker surgery.  Gee whiz!

Outpatient surgery visit:  $225.00 -- this was our first out-of-pocket expense and had to be paid when we checked into the hospital. 

Insurance total payments:  $15,920.72 -- this is what the Medicare Advantage company kicked in

Contractual adjustments:  $111,062 -- the surgery actually costs $126,757.72!  This is what you pay if you don't have Medicare!  Think you can survive without it?  Think again!  $111,062 was deducted from our bill by agreement to charge only $15,400.31 for the pacemaker installation. 

Due from patient now:  $295.41

So the surgeon / hospital costs us $520.41 in total, which admittedly blows the budget for January and February.  We've also had the co-pays for $30 a visit to all the specialists and the extra costs of the sleep apnea C-pap machine all throughout January -- we're going to be eating a lot of macaroni this spring.  But again the Medicare insurance picked up the biggest portion of all those costs, including the C-pap machine that we now own (and Hubby is using regularly).  

Without having the government step in and make arrangements for hospital and surgical costs to remain reasonable (and $15,550 is really reasonable for surgery on one's heart) Hubby could NOT have afforded to have his heart mended.  The right wingers and the Mitt Romney's  can talk all they want about being on government dole -- but when your life depends on fair treatment (and you have worked all your adult life to  pay into the system) you hope and pray that the government and the medical institutions are there to offer support. 

By the way, Hubby's heart rate is now a steady 65 -- every day, all day.  That's down from 110 to 160+ all day every day.


Donna said...

I like to think I am a Libertarian, until someone reminds me that Libertarians intend to do away with Social Security. Than I don't know WHAT I am.

Margaret said...

YAY for good medical and fixing Hubby's heart. I don't know what we would have done without my private(but union benefit/group plan) insurance. Patt's cancer treatment probably cost around $500,000. How much is a life worth? I don't have that answer but I was sure happy to have those two years with him.