Another Medical Scam Uncovered By Me!

Categories: Advice

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Or it might actually be a cry for help, as it turned out.

See, I recently had to undergo some medical procedures that I've written about.

After they were all set up, I called to double-check that the surgery center I was going to was "in network" for my insurance.

(I assumed it had been since the whole point was that the procedures were covered, but I figured, "Let's be extra safe.")

"No, we're not," said someone at the surgery center.

Stunned, I called the doctor's liaison who'd set the whole thing up.

"Don't worry," she explained. "If you get a bill, just write 'Financial Hardship.'"

"Say waaaa?" I screeched. "I'm not doing that! I'm not broke. I want to do this on the up and up. It's covered in-network, so I want to do it that way."

She assured me that if I only went along with her approach, any charges would instantly be dropped.

She added that I wouldn't hear from collection agencies or ever have to worry about this matter again.

"This is how we help the surgery centers," she asserted.

"Huh? By stiffing them?" I said, incredulous.

"But you still have some coverage from the insurance for out of network," she explained. "And this way, they'll at least get paid that much!"

Later that day, I heard back from the insurance person at the center itself, for whom I'd left a panicky message.

"We wouldn't send you a bill," assured the woman.

So it was true?

An out-of-network place will not expect you to pay because they're so desperate that they're happy to get whatever the insurance provider will pay them?

I'm pretty sure that's indeed the case -- especially since the woman sounded heartbroken when I told her I was switching to somewhere in-network.

What a sad system!



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11 comments
Dallas shredding
Dallas shredding

A stronger information campaign is needed in order to reach more people especially oursenior citizens because they are the number 1 target of heartless fraudsters. On the prowl to get useful information to use for their advantage, they do not spare the sick and the elderly. This piece on medical fraud that you have shared is very helpful, thank you.

VonD
VonD

Gag!

I was late by a month on a bill to Beth Israel and they had the bill collectors after me!

"Financial hardship," my tuches, I wish it did work!

Brianeinersen
Brianeinersen

it's so confusing...i am glad you wrote about this..in-network, out-of-netowrk, in-laws,out-laws...i can relate.

Melinda9
Melinda9

Seems strange. If the out of network doctor was just happy to get what the insurance company pays network doctors, why wouldn't they just join the network?

Wings
Wings

Don't be sad for the surgery center. They were probably going to bill the insurance company some exorbitant amount.

Joey Boots
Joey Boots

That's it! I am finally gonna treat myself to dinner at Le Bernardin and when the bill comes I am writing "Financial Hardship" on it!

Hy
Hy

You mean you can just write "financial hardship" on a bill and that absolves you?? Should I try it??

Yaya
Yaya

This is sad and shocking.

Movielover
Movielover

Insurance companies are bandits.  The whole system is a scam and a rip off.  I kid you not, that I needed some eye drops, 3 bottles and each one cost $200.  I know this because I called the doctor to tell him one he prescribed was not covered by insurance according to the pharmacy (I would have to buy it for $200) so he prescribed a similar one instead.  My insurance pays, but it is completely ridiculous that the whole thing is out of control.  We need some hard investigation.  Why on earth should profit be made on health care?  It's a moral problem!  It's blackmail.  Pay outlandish fees or die.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

That's right...but they'll never "offer" that amount to regular folks.

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