A spider bite, and $4,348.44 dollars later: ‘I don’t have the willpower to argue any of it’

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

The share from the community member looked ominous: An IV, which usually means an emergency room.

PROCEDURE: 96365 Ther/proph/diag iv inf init

PRICES:
CHARGED: 1200.0
INSURED: 0.0
PAID: 1200.0

HOSPITAL: Mount Sinai Beth Israel

INSURER: Cigna

OTHER INSURER: An employer

I asked:

Thanks for your share on ClearHealthCosts! We might want to write about this. If we do, we pledge to protect your privacy.

A few questions:

1. It seems this was this an emergency room visit — can you tell us about the circumstances?
2. Do you have a fuller explanation of benefits or bill you could share with us, which would show what the insurer paid and what you paid? Please feel free to black out any identifying details.
3. It looks to us as if you have a high deductible plan. Is that why you were asked to pay the whole thing?

Thank you very much for your help!

Cheers jeanne

P.S. how did you find us?

He answered:

1) It was an emergency room visit. I had a line running down my arm – a spider or mosquito bit me and bacteria got in my vein and a red line was running down my arm. I went to urgent care where i was for under one minute and the doctor told me i had Lymphangitis from the bite and i had to go to the ER. that visit cost me $230 out of pocket, with insurance. insurance gave me a $70 discount. all for roughly one minute of service.
2)Attached is my EOB, which isn’t very detailed.
3) my deductible is $2,500. i’m not sure if thats considered high or not.

I heard about this because my ex girlfriend is a DR in NYC and was trying to explain to me how everything works and she showed me your TED talk. i’m 31 and dont know the slightest thing about how healthcare works, mainly because i never ever get sick. i’ve had healthcare for many many years and never used it. I was absolutely blown away to see the price of using health services. Luckily i pay $0 for my insurance while my company picks up the $700ish per month cost.

I replied:

Hey, thanks so much for this! May I write a blog post about it, quoting you but not using your name? I pledge to protect your privacy.

i might use the EOB, but will not include any identifying factors. We often do this as “A friend writes.” I won’t post anything before showing you a draft.

Were there any takeaways that you had that would help others in a similar situation? Did you argue the bill, or pay both, or something else?

Let me know, and thanks!

He replied:

Hi thanks, for letting me know. Use anything you need.

I dont know if i have anything useful to share other than there should be education on this taught in school. I paid some of it, i dont have the willpower to argue any of it because i have no idea where to start or have the time to do so

thanks for all you do

Then he added:

p.s. I dont know if i mentioned this, but what i had first submitted was an “itemized list” that i had to request and wait weeks for from Mt Siani Beth Isreal. the initial bills didn’t explain anything. (i threw those out because i was mad at them, haha)