What am I doing wrong at the doctor's office?
November 10, 2011 9:48 AM Subscribe
I have a doctor's appointment coming up in the next few weeks. I have healthcare coverage, but I always seem to end up with a decent sized bill anyway, even for appointments that seem to be covered. What are you supposed to say and do to avoid this? This gets rather long inside.
posted by furious to health & fitness (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have a high deductible plan at uhc. I have a doctor’s appt coming up, scheduled as a checkup, in network. In the past, with this plan and others from other plan providers, I would go I got to the doctor’s office for my checkup and something I said or did always seemed to lead to me getting charged for the visit even though checkups and office visits are supposed to be covered.
I am not trying to do anything shady here. It just seems there is something I am saying or doing that changes it from a covered checkup to "brought some problem in, now lets charge furious for everything". It is not specific to a plan or a location, those have changed over the years.
I did a calculation at the plan website, and it says office visits, even extended ones, are covered. But then if you need treatment of some sort, it seemed to sometimes suggest that you'd be paying out of pocket bigtime.
Are you supposed to just talk about any symptoms like they emerged that day?
Are you supposed to let the doctor discover things on their own?(as in, don’t say “I think I have the flu", just say "on the way into your treatment room I developed a hacking cough”)
If I have pain, should it have just started just as I walked in?
If I have pain in my wrist (I don’t), should I let the doctor examine it and then say ouch when he/she gets to it? Like if the doctor diagnoses or finds it themselves, does that get it categorized as something insurance is supposed to pay, rather than something to toss the way of the patient?
If I ask for a test, is that different than if the doctor orders a test?
I feel like I have insurance when I walk in, and I don't when I walk out. I'd have to fall from a hot air balloon to hit my deductible, but that shouldn't even come into play because standard visits are supposed to be covered. If my coverage is "go to the doctor but you can never have anything wrong", well that makes no sense as coverage, right? If I am assumed to never need medical care, I do not need to go to the doctor, and therefore I have no coverage. Further, if I have no coverage when I a have an ailment, then what is the point?
So I figure that when I get into the doctor's office, there is something I am doing or saying wrong, that leads me to getting sent bills for $150. What is the trick is to avoiding being charged?