MEDICAL: And So the Insurance Paperwork Begins . . . Oddly
So, I’ve never had to deal with medical bills/insurance coverage before … but that’s about to change. (Those who follow me on Facebook already know that I was hospitalized for a couple of days in February, and I’ve had follow-up doctor visits in the six weeks since. I’ll make a post here soon to give details, but let sum up that I’m okay, but I have things to work on.) My first interaction with it, though, arrived in today’s mail . . . and it’s quite puzzling.
To the best of my knowledge, I haven’t yet been BILLED for anything other than the medications I picked up from the hospital pharmacy. I certainly haven’t PAID any money from my personal accounts or cards to the hospital or providers yet. I’ve been waiting for those invoices, bills, and other bits of paperwork to arrive so that I can begin sorting through it.
Today, though, I received paperwork from the Claims Department of my insurer covering four separate procedures/tests/consultations. Some of them I can figure out, others are only medical codes. But all the paperwork agrees about a few things regarding “Patient Responsibility”:
Amount Not Covered: $0.00
Co-Pay Amount: $0.00
Patient Total Responsibility: $0.00
Basically, they seem to say that everything having to do with these procedures/tests/consultations is covered by my insurance. GREAT!
Here’s the thing, though. Each of these bits of paperwork ALSO includes a section called “Payment to Patient” that is NOT $0.00. It’s an amount ranging from ~$15 to ~$250, and they INCLUDE checks made out ot me to cover that amount.
I have to guess that the providers will be billing me for these amounts eventually. Because otherwise, I’m just getting PAID for having been sick.
Anyway, I’ll set this money aside in expectation that it needs to be paid out elsewhere. But I have to say that I have at least a nagging worry that I shouldn’t cash them at all . . . like that would mean I’m agreeing to some deal that hasn’t actually been fully explained to me yet.
And, really, I know for sure that these four items are still just the TIP of the medical bill iceberg that’s bearing down on me for my hospital stay and follow-up visits. So I’m not going to invest much time worrying about a segment that seems to be resolving in my favor.