What I Learned, April | What You Need to Know About Health Care Costs

One set back after another. One more obstacle course to run. Two steps forward, three steps back. Just when I thought I was getting my head above water…I am thrown another anchor to weigh me down. That’s my life right now.

It’s a test. Do I keep faith, and hold steady? Or, do I throw up my hands, and give up?

Yeah, it’s a test. I feel like I am failing. Big. Fat. F. In bold red letters.

As they say, “We learn from our failures.” Whatever.

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

So, I wait.

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FILE THIS UNDER: IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW | Before receiving any medical procedure (the kind where you can take a few days to make a decision), whether it is x-rays, chemotherapy, mammogram, or surgery, always negotiate the price before hand.

“What? You can do that?” You say. Yes, you can. Yes, you should. And, you should do it whether you have health insurance or not.

Quickly, I will tell you I received a mammogram this month. One that was warranted because of questionable symptoms. I thought my insurance covered the cost. I was wrong. I was hit with a $1,000 bill. Ouch!

WHAT I LEARNED, AND WHAT I WANT YOU TO KNOW | Health Care Blue Book is a website that gives the “fair market price” of a procedure in your area. You can use this price to negotiate with the hospital/doctor BEFORE HAND. Once your insurance company is billed and they “negotiate” for you, it’s really hard to renegotiate...no matter how much you cry to the billing department. Another great resource is New Choice Health. This site lists the price the hospital charges if you are to walk in off the street with no insurance. You shouldn’t pay more than this out of pocket. Period.

I’ll give you a hint…my mammogram shouldn’t cost me $1,000 out of pocket. And, I will save the “raping of the health care system” post for some other day.

One more thing…if you need a mammogram and can’t afford it, don’t let that stop you from getting this possibly life-saving test. Check around in your area. There are hospitals that do low-cost, or free, mammograms. I could have gotten mine for $100-$200 in Denver!

My Mammogram came back clean. That is something to praise!

****Linking up at Chatting At The Sky this morning. Go check out the wonderful women linking up there too.

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Today is my birthday! I am celebrating being 29…again. Please consider making a contribution to my Birthday for a Cause campaign to help women in Nepal receive much needed health care. Also, prayers never hurt.
My Birthday for a Cause supports Nyaya Health where 1 in 125 women die during childbirth in the Achham District. This is all I want for my birthday…to make a difference in life of a mother. And carrot cake. Thank you.

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4 thoughts on “What I Learned, April | What You Need to Know About Health Care Costs

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  1. Be aware many of the breast cancer charities offer free or low cost mammograms if you have no insurance. Also most hospitals have charity budgets so you can always request a discount; you usually have to prove your income to them if you go this route. But as you stated, do not delay this test if you need it. It could save your life.

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    1. Good points Camille! Yes, you would have to prove your income, although I would have qualified for a low cost mammogram. The bigger point is that we have to take control of our health and ask questions, and get pricing up front…or you’ll be surprised by the bill. Pricing should be transparent when it comes to hospitals. There is no other business that you do not get a price before the “job” or procedure is done. Thanks for your helpful insight.

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  2. Jeri, regardless…thanks for getting your mammogram! Call it an early birthday present to me – I know how important a test it can be!

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    1. Yeah, I know, but still. Anyway, thank you for your donation to Nyaya Health. That makes me turning one year older worth it.

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