Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dear Northside Hospital...

You nearly gave me a heart attack when I opened up this $700 bill for an ultrasound. It wasn't until I read through the entire thing that I finally saw mention of you also sending this bill to our insurance company...

Thank goodness for awesome coverage with our insurance! I can't fathom going in monthly without it and being expected to pay such an exorbitant amount for each visit. The first thing James said when I showed him the paperwork was, "Dang, I went into the wrong profession!" Haha. I suppose we're just too sheltered since we usually don't see the cost of our care. Throughout my entire pregnancy with Liv -- including my stay at the hospital -- I never once received a bill (or even a statement of services provided, etc.). Our insurance just took care of it, and I continued on without having a clue as to how much any of it actually cost.

Well, my eyes have been opened. So, thank you Northside for that lovely moment, but really...I suppose I should thank Tricare! You have been amazing with your coverage over the years -- especially when you let me see civilian providers and still pay for it! Please don't get any crazy ideas and start cutting our benefits as the talk continues about healthcare in our country. I've already heard rumors from friends about you changing things up at Ft. Lewis for those that see civilian docs -- I hope you don't decide to do the same down here in the South!

8 comments:

  1. Bah! When I was pregnant this last time fort lewis told me I could no longer be prime and deliver off post even though I had done it in 2008 with my daughter who died. No amount of sobbing would change their minds so to standard i went. Such a pain in my rear! Sure its nice to go see whoever i want when i want but after so many years of prime and never paying its sure different! Just maternity care though, they don't care if we keep seeing civilian doctors as primary care docs,yet now that i have to pay for it i never want to go to the doctor lol!
    Im glad tricare is treating you good!

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  2. Wow! It would have been helpful had they clarified their intent before shocking you with the price! :) I have had a few of those scares too! I am so glad that you have good coverage, and I hope it stays that way. Being high risk without good coverage would be terrifying.

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  3. Jenny, that sounds like what others have been telling me. I delivered Liv at St. Peter in Lacey while on Prime back in 2009 without any issues. It's sad that things are changing! When the day comes that they make me go on post down here, I'll be switching to Standard, too.

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  4. I love standard. I only ended up having to pay for part of the initial labs. But I got a statement from Capital and the breakdown of costs. Without any insurance, having B would have cost us $9k.ouch.

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  5. Oh yeah, that was only the delivery, not even the routine appts!

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  6. Now I'm starting to get worried that if I do get preggo again I won't be able to go to st. Pete's or Capital, noooooo! I had Abigail at St. Pere's in 2009 no problem. Standard covers most of maternity care though right? Just sucks because we can't get on prime until a year later if we were to switch. Hopefully, if I get to have another baby I will be able to stay off post. Any one have any more information?

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  7. I emailed Tricare and they said "Please note that a Military Treatment Facility (MTF) is the first choice provider for the TRICARE program. The MTF has the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) for any services submitted by a civilian provider if services are available at the MTF. ROFR is required for beneficiaries that reside within a Prime Service Area. TriWest is required to notify the MTF of any specialty referrals that are faxed to us. The MTF then advises us if they refuse assignment or accept assignment. If they refuse assignment, or are not servicing that particular specialty at that time, the referral will then be routed to the civilian sector. If they do accept assignment, then the beneficiary must go to the MTF to have the services rendered."
    They also said it's still possible that I could have a civilian OB, just depends. Ugh, uncool.

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  8. hahahaha!!! this happened to me with a $4500 MRI bill!!! except they were saying I had to pay it because the insurance rejected it...well, i called the insurance company and found out that it was because they filed it under my maiden name and not my married name...luckily 2 weeks later I got a letter saying it was taken care of...but i am ALL too familiar with that heart attack!! lol

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