Uninsured billed at full price, study finds

If you're one of the growing number of Americans without health insurance, you are billed top dollar for hospital care. Full Story
Edward Hirsch

West Palm Beach, FL

#1 May 8, 2007
It is not just "Hospitals in large part have borne the brunt of caring for the country's uninsured population" but also doctors. The doctors have to admit and take care of the patients, whether or not they have insurance and doctors are essentially small businesses, not the large corporations with reserves that hospitals have. Doctors also give discounts to patients, yet have also seen costs rise and reimbursements fall.
ppanther

Miami, FL

#2 May 8, 2007
My son was bil $7,500.00 for a 3 hour stay at Coral Springs Medical Center for Kidneys Stones. He went home to pass the stones after that.

he had the same problem in 2005 when he was insured and the bill for the insurance company was only $1,500.00 and our responsability was only $200.00
When I asked why the difference the hospitals answer was the insurance companies have more power than you to bargain the bills.
Big companies take abuse of the poor.
Dan A

Esom Hill, GA

#3 May 8, 2007
Based on surgery I had two years ago the entire system needs to be revamped. The billings I received were 3 times what the final cost to the insurance company ended up being. There should be one rate regardless if you are insured or not. That would eliminate the administrative cost of having to adjust rates based on insurance carrier or for those who do not have insurance at all.
patrickfll

Hialeah, FL

#4 May 8, 2007
The fast solution is to make hospitals bill uninsured at the average rate +10% of the three largest accepted insurance companies at said hospital.
fed-up

West Palm Beach, FL

#5 May 8, 2007
its all a lie anyways, they will rip us off any way they can, my pal stayed overnight after having what we thought might have been a mini stroke, they gave him no special tests or anything, JUST OBSERVATION OVERNIGHT, he was billed $12,000. After that they sent him for multitudes of tests, found nothing and spenmt another $15-20k on top of that, and yet still NO DIAGNOSIS.

Its bad enough they charge these outrageous fees, but the care given is substandard at best. 4,5 or 8-10 bucks for an spirin, took how many administartors to acquire that aspirin at pennies each? My point being that the ones in charge are paid such ridiculous wages they need to pay for it somehow, and since I have isnurance I will pay thru the insurance premiums, thru my deductibles and then aagin when I got to pay thru taxes and more to pay the fees for those unable.....

Betetr of being poor, since us working clASS people pay for everyone anyways.
C Richards

AOL

#6 May 8, 2007
This is a true article. I spent about one hour waiting in urgent care center waiting room for a bad ear infection. When the Dr. saw me he spent about 10 minutes or less with me.

I got a bill about a month later that came out to nearly $400. The girl behind the counter had entered my insurance information incorrectly and that was why my bill was so high.

I called to correct the problem, which they did; and about a month after that I got a statement showing what my insurance was paying the facility.$100... My insurance paid them $100 and they were going to charge me $400 if I didn't have insurance. CROOKS !
One Nation under God

Ocala, FL

#7 May 8, 2007
Why can't Hospitals offer insurance?
Seems to me that it would cost us a lot less for coverage and the Hospitals would get what they deserve as far as payment for treatment.
No more big payroll and profits to pay to people that bank on our poor health!
HospitalGuy

Pompano Beach, FL

#8 May 8, 2007
I can give you all some insider information from the hospital perspective. I've been in hospital finance for many years and know exactly how this Uninsured population is being discussed.

There were some class action lawsuits around the country that really have the attention of hospitals, particularly the larger investor owned companies (HCA, Tenet). They created a "Discount for the Uninsured" where they discount these claims down to a "medicare" type rate for the benefit of the uninsured patient. All sounds good but it's actually that they do not want to be sued.

So what I would recommend if you are reading this and have a huge uninsured bill is that you write to the CEO or CFO of the hospital and claim that this bill is "unreasonable" and is much more than if you were an HMO/Medicare/Medicaid patient and that you are seeking out counsel and/or to join a class action suit regarding overcharging uninsured patients.

That will get their attention FAST.
jjj

Mitchell, GA

#9 May 8, 2007
Once again blame the illegals that are getting free medical care for the working American has to pay for.
C McElhaney

Dania, FL

#10 May 8, 2007
My uninsured housekeeper needed surgery to remove her thyroid. I prenegotiatated a rate for at one of the three Ft. Lauderdale hospitals her surgeon had priveleges at. In total, I prepaid her surgery for $6000 - $5300 for the surgery and $700 for the anethesia. Her surgeon charged her a discounted rate. Low and behold, three weeks after her surgery the hospital sent her a bill for $20000 which included a $2500 anetheisa bill. This is what they would have charged her had I not negotiated the rate and prepaid it in advance. The bill was a mistake, but it is shocking and a total rip off of the poor and the uninsured. Hospitals should be ashamed.
Copy GA or NC tax code

Pahokee, FL

#11 May 8, 2007
It is not just hospitals, most doctors offices or clinics charge way more to non-insured for a visit and test. When you look at how little insurance companies pay the providers you understand why they try to make a killing on the uninsured.

The whole healthcare system in this country needs to be revamped. Americans pay way more for way less. With the amount of our gdp that goes to healthcare, we should be able to provide quality service to everyone. The number of uninsured in this country is staggering. Fewer corporations are providing health care insurance for their employees. Many now pay only part of the premium or provide insurance that has a huge deductibles.

I know that we will hear from the tools on this forum who always want to side with big business at the expense of the weak. It is these tools that are allowing our country to be run into the ground. Capitalism only works if there is a counter balance to corporate power. For the past few decades this country is being raped by the corporations but the small minded look to place the blame on the weak.
Lenny

West Palm Beach, FL

#13 May 8, 2007
It's ot onlt the insurance companies. Someone I know had a tommy tuck. They got the bill from the hospital for around $ 15,000 dollars for the operating room. It turns out they made a mistake. She was billed at the full rate. They should have billed her $2,000 the doctors rate.

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