Recently I went in for a physical and elected to have a comprehensive blood work tests done. I recently have received my claim from my health insurance plan, a high deductible HSA, in regards to what I owe. Below is the information posted directly from my account into this blog.
|Service/Product||Date(s) of Service||Amount Billed||Copay||Deductible||Coinsurance||Amount Paid By Your Health Plan||Your Responsibility|
|Lab Test: Blood||1/14/2014||$51.00||$0.00||$9.53||$0.00||$0.00||$9.53|
|Lab Test: Blood||1/14/2014||$65.00||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||$14.97||$0.00|
Amount that was billed: $ 315
Amount paid by insurance: $ 32.64
Amount I paid: $ 9.53
Total amount paid: $ 42.17
Percentage billed paid: 13%
Now think about this for a second, the lab that tested my blood billed for over three hundred dollars worth of work yet will receive a little over a tenth of what they billed. Why? Simply put, it didn't really cost that much. Hospitals, doctors offices and labs often are over billing because they are largely dependent on whatever the insurance company is willing to pay, and each insurance company has different metrics for each item, and so they over bill because they do not have a reliable metric to use when it comes to determine the costs of their goods.
Now, imagine if I had to pay for this out of pocket? I would have been over paying by over two hundred and seventy dollars. Of course there are individuals who will argue that now that everyone has insurance this means that individuals will not be overpaying for costs anymore; I believe this is wrong and that costs are only being shunted around, but that isn't the point. The point being that for all the rhetoric over the failure of the market in regards to health data above paints a different picture. The inability for potential patients to shop around and make informed decisions or many doctors offices to properly price their products because of an informational barrier is a huge issue, and it is an issue that obamacare does not address.