This is going to be kind of a mild rant, both because I am too depressed to really work up a good head of steam, and also because the lady we’ve been dealing with at the insurance company has actually been very nice and reasonable. It’s just not helping that much.
Anyway, back on February 17, young Whatsit Jr. was admitted to the infant ICU of Children’s Hospital with what we thought was just a bad head cold, but turned out to be RSV and bacterial pneumonia. The pneumonia was caused by methicillin-resistant staph. He wound up on a ventilator for a week and had a chest tube in for a week after that. His total hospital stay was three weeks.
The bills for this have just started coming in. I have insurance both for myself and him, and our deductible is $1500, so I thought that’s the maximum we’d have to pay. Ha. Ha, ha, ha. It is to laugh.
It turns out that, according to Children’s, there is a shortage of pediatric specialists in this area right now, so they contract out to bring in outside traveling doctors. (I’m explaining this to the best of my ability; my understanding is somewhat murky.) These outside doctors, while incredibly good at what they do, are not covered in my insurance company’s network. Therefore my insurance company does not fully cover whatever they charge; they just cover what they (the insurance company) deems to be “reasonable”, or the going rate. In Whatsit Jr.'s case, the difference between what they deemed reasonable and what we were actually charged is $3000. Yes, 3K. Three thousand big ones.
I asked the insurance people how it is that we can be charged $1500 above and beyond our deductible, and they shrugged (yes, I could hear this over the phone) and said that’s just the way it is.
Right now, the nice and very reasonable insurance lady that I’ve been in contact with is calling Children’s and her supervisor to see if Children’s will be willing to drop the excess charges beyond what the insurance company will cover, but I’m not optimistic.
So much for getting our finances under control and moving into a nicer place. I think we’re going to be stuck in this tiny one-bedroom shack (with a three-month-old baby, no less) for a long time. I can’t even describe how much this sucks. (I guess I just gave it the ol’ college try, but it sucks so much more than I am able to convey with my limited verbal abilities.)