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Letter: No wonder health care bankrupts many people

No wonder health care bankrupts many people

The health insurance providers and suppliers do a great disservice to many who have good health insurance. My physician recently referred me to a lab for some routine blood work; I’ve done this before, it’s a $5 co-pay for me. When I received the bill it was, as always, the same $5 co-pay. But I looked a little more closely at the bill and was astounded to see that the lab had billed my insurance for just under $250. The insurance company had negotiated these services down to $215.65, a big reduction, and again, my share was $5. Good deal.

This isn’t unusual. I looked at medical bills for the insured, underinsured and uninsured for 30 years as part of my job. That’s the way the medical industry in this country does business. Send out a whopper of a bill and see who pays up. Yes, if you’re good and stay at it with the hospital, company or doctor sending you the bill, and don’t mind getting cut off a few times and starting over and over with a series of fellows who speak pretty good English but have no power to negotiate your bill down, you might eventually get referred to a business officer back in the States who offers you 40 percent off if you pay today by credit or debit.

The largest cause of bankruptcies in the United States can be traced back to medical expenses. Small wonder.

Jerome Saab

Angola