We are frequently seeing clients with ‘surprise’ medical bills when Wynn at Law,LLC counsels people through bankruptcy proceedings. Catastrophic medical bills are, unfortunately, one of the more common reasons for Chapter 7. Usually those clients didn’t have insurance coverage. The surprise medical bills to which this article refers are bills health insurance did not cover.
For example, you schedule an in-network procedure. You’re assured your insurance is covering the cost. But a few weeks later, an OUT-of-network bill arrives. The Jan. 2017 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) pointed out the problem. “The average anesthesiologist, emergency physician, pathologist, and radiologist charge more than four times what Medicare pays for similar services, often leaving privately insured consumers stuck with surprise medical bills that are much higher than they anticipated.”
Wisconsin, by the way, is among the states with the highest out-of-network markups according to the study.
As a patient, you don’t get to select the specialists like the anesthesiologists – who charge six times what insurance customarily pays based on the Medicare rate. But you do get the specialist’s invoice once your insurer carves out how much it will pay. States and Congress will sort out how customers avoid surprise billings. Maybe the solution is in Healthcare Reform… might be in state laws capping out-of-network charges… either way, it doesn’t change the immediate danger it puts your financial independence in.
Wynn at Law, LLC works with clients to try to avoid a bankruptcy filing if they can. Sometimes, it’s as simple as talking with the insurance company and the out-of-network provider about the crushing surprise bill.
Our team here at Wynn at Law LLC hope you had an enjoyable and safe Independence Day, and we want you to know that we’re by your side if your financial independence is put in jeopardy.
*The content and material in this original post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
Photo by Sean Prior, used with permission.