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What's the most absurd medical bill you have ever received? (Original Post) Uncle Joe Sep 2019 OP
Nowhere near as serious as others, but... HerbChestnut Sep 2019 #1
At one time I had insurance with a high deductible treestar Sep 2019 #2
Wow Bev54 Sep 2019 #7
200,000. Out of network cost when my husband had a massive stroke almost 3 years ago. onecaliberal Sep 2019 #3
The ones for medications that Medicare considers to be "off-label" and won't cover. greatauntoftriplets Sep 2019 #4
Small but still absurd Runningdawg Sep 2019 #5
It is absurd to receive any bill Bev54 Sep 2019 #6
We US citizens are the ones who are absurd for doing nothing about it. Sneederbunk Sep 2019 #8
In 1991, I contracted viral encephalitis. I was driving across the MineralMan Sep 2019 #9
Hard to decide. I had a panic attack that I mistook for a heart attack several years ago Politicub Sep 2019 #10
Took care of my Wellstone ruled Sep 2019 #11
After my son was born... JoeOtterbein Sep 2019 #12
The time the insurance company said the general anesthesia for the spinal surgery wasn't covered. WhiskeyGrinder Sep 2019 #13
Mom in a rehab center and she needed her toe nails clipped. They charged $25 per toe. $250. n/t zackymilly Sep 2019 #14
$10,000 for 5 or 6 hours in the hospital Bradical79 Sep 2019 #15
Also the other direction... $4.08 keithbvadu2 Sep 2019 #16
I've had a few, but they were mistakes. Iggo Sep 2019 #17
I got sick while on vacation in NY. DCofVA Sep 2019 #18
I was ill after my last child Bettie Sep 2019 #19
I've never gotten an absurd medical bill. elocs Sep 2019 #20
$250 out of network for an emergency room visit while on a business trip. Blue_true Sep 2019 #21
 

HerbChestnut

(3,649 posts)
1. Nowhere near as serious as others, but...
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 01:10 PM
Sep 2019

I once went into a walk-in clinic when I thought I had strep throat. No insurance at the time because I was a part-time graduate student also working full-time with no benefits (go America). I paid the upfront cost of $100 just to see a doctor, and after a quick examination they told me I was basically fine. Then they said, "Oh, you might want to do this other test just to make sure." Figuring they were the professionals, and made no mention of there being an extra cost, I said okay and they took a saliva sample. Two minutes later they came back with the test results confirming I was fine, so I said thank you and left. A week later I received a bill in the mail for over $300 because of that extra test that took literally less than 5 minutes to complete.

Under Medicare for All, my total bill would have been $0.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

treestar

(82,383 posts)
2. At one time I had insurance with a high deductible
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 01:15 PM
Sep 2019

and never got up to that deductible each year, so I paid for each thing. Before I realized there was a program Screening for Life that would cover the usual prevention type tests at certain incomes. I had to pay for mammograms and they were getting up over $500.

Also, one blood test for a chronic condition had to do annually, was affordable until one year it was suddenly like $400 I think.

The ACA solved these issues. I don't know how it would come through for a really big problem, but the regular stuff it covers well.

I did have a dental "insurance" which covers, it turns out, just cleanings and x-rays, so a root canal, $1600+ - ouch.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Bev54

(10,042 posts)
7. Wow
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 01:53 PM
Sep 2019

I live in Canada and we do not pay for our annual tests and in fact the health system will send a reminder for your mammograms etc. We just go in and have it done, pay nothing.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

onecaliberal

(32,808 posts)
3. 200,000. Out of network cost when my husband had a massive stroke almost 3 years ago.
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 01:31 PM
Sep 2019

That is with “good” insurance.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

greatauntoftriplets

(175,729 posts)
4. The ones for medications that Medicare considers to be "off-label" and won't cover.
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 01:38 PM
Sep 2019

Of course, they're very expensive ones.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Runningdawg

(4,514 posts)
5. Small but still absurd
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 01:43 PM
Sep 2019

I was charged $50 because they had to use a bigger BP cuff in the ER. Different visit $165 for a pregnancy test - 10 years after menopause.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

Bev54

(10,042 posts)
6. It is absurd to receive any bill
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 01:51 PM
Sep 2019

I live in Canada so I find it absurd that you guys still accept being billed for your healthcare.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Sneederbunk

(14,285 posts)
8. We US citizens are the ones who are absurd for doing nothing about it.
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:09 PM
Sep 2019
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

MineralMan

(146,272 posts)
9. In 1991, I contracted viral encephalitis. I was driving across the
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:18 PM
Sep 2019

country with my fiancee at the time when it got bad enough for me to collapse in the car near the California border with Arizona and stop breathing. My wife pulled me out of the car and I started breathing again, but was unconscious. Someone stopped and called for an ambulance on his CB radio.

The ambulance took me to a nearby hospital, which quickly realized that they couldn't cope with my situation, so I was taken by air ambulance to a hospital in Palm Springs.

I had a typical Blue Cross individual insurance policy at the time. I was hospitalized, in a coma, for over a week in Palm Springs, during which time I was seen by an army of doctors, each of whom billed for their inaccurate diagnoses. Finally, the viral encephalitis was diagnosed and they stopped giving me all the intravenous drugs I was on and I began to recover.

Then I was transferred by another ambulance to a different hospital, close to my parents' home, where I finished recovering.

I was on the hook for 20% of the costs, based on my insurance policy. That came to about $20,000, once Blue Cross got the price for everything lowered. OK...at the time i could afford to pay that co-pay and my deductible, although it wiped out my savings.

Then, i got a bill for $5000 for that air ambulance ride. I called Blue Cross, and they had decided that my condition didn't warrant an air ambulance, so they weren't going to pay it. So, OK, I called the air ambulance company to set up a $1000/per month payment plan. The person I talked to said, incredulously, "You're going to PAY?" I said yes. So, I did, $1000/month for five months. that was the weirdest medical bill I ever had to pay.

And then, there were the double billings by three or four specialists who had seen me and misdiagnosed my condition. when I checked with Blue Cross, it turned out that they had already been paid, but billed me anyway. when I called each of those doctor's offices to explain that, they gave me lame excuses for why I had been billed after Blue Cross had paid them. I suppose they were hoping that I'd just go ahead and pay, so they could collect twice on the same thing. Damn them all!

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Politicub

(12,165 posts)
10. Hard to decide. I had a panic attack that I mistook for a heart attack several years ago
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:22 PM
Sep 2019

I went to the ER, and they ran a battery of imaging and blood tests. They gave me some valium and that was that.

The bill came, and it was around $18,000. That's what I would have had to pay without insurance. The insurance company ended up paying the hospital around $1,100 if memory serves.

I also get back injections for nerve pain from spinal stenosis. The bill is around $3,500 for each injection, which takes around an hour for prep, getting the shot and recovery. But the insurance company's negotiated rate is around $700.

I think almost every medical bill is absurd before seeing the insurance negotiated rate.

There is no reason why any American should pay more for the same service. It's absurd and the epitome of privilege.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Wellstone ruled

(34,661 posts)
11. Took care of my
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:28 PM
Sep 2019

Mother In Laws affairs after she went into a Elder care program. Totally nuts. Hundred dollars billed to Medicare for one friggin Aspirin which she was not to receive. And that was just the start. Talk about legal theft from the Taxpayers. Her case became a test case against a major Nursing home provider which the State of Minnesota won and the Company paid a mega fine and was forced to sell to another firm.

Talk about padding the expense bill.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

JoeOtterbein

(7,700 posts)
12. After my son was born...
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:45 PM
Sep 2019
...the insurance company sent us a bill for his "circumcision." I laughed and called the company. I asked them if I needed to bring my son in to prove that he was uncircumcised!


I sent the above in reply to Bernie's tweet. I hope he sees it. Although I don't think my now 35 year old son would like the idea of proving it!

Thanks for the funny memory Uncle Joe!
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

WhiskeyGrinder

(22,311 posts)
13. The time the insurance company said the general anesthesia for the spinal surgery wasn't covered.
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:47 PM
Sep 2019
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

zackymilly

(2,375 posts)
14. Mom in a rehab center and she needed her toe nails clipped. They charged $25 per toe. $250. n/t
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:50 PM
Sep 2019
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Bradical79

(4,490 posts)
15. $10,000 for 5 or 6 hours in the hospital
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 03:13 PM
Sep 2019

Insurance payed $1,000. This was before the ACA was fully implemented.

Another one that was pretty absurd was being charged a couple hundred for one of those cheap stretchy knee braces you can get at the supermarket.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

keithbvadu2

(36,707 posts)
16. Also the other direction... $4.08
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 03:51 PM
Sep 2019

Also the other direction... $4.08

Medicare/insurance company must have been slow in paying.

Got a bill for $4.08 with the appropriate threatening language of sending it to a collection agency.

Sent them a check.

Later got 2 checks back from them totaling the $4.08.

They finally got paid.

It had to cost them more than that to do the actual billing and collection.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Iggo

(47,541 posts)
17. I've had a few, but they were mistakes.
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 05:04 PM
Sep 2019

I've been pretty lucky for 57-ish years. A couple of hernias when I was a baby. A couple of broken bones as I got older. Some heavy duty dental stuff later. But no real serious sickness or disease.

My absurd bills have all been billing mistakes. $3200 from a hospital I'd never been to was my favorite one. But that one was easy.

"Show me the paper."

Done.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

DCofVA

(714 posts)
18. I got sick while on vacation in NY.
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 05:06 PM
Sep 2019

I drove to the nearest walk-in clinic, where I had a medical emergency. They called an ambulance to take me to the nearest Emergency Room, ten minutes away. In my distressed state I didn’t notice that I was in a private ambulance. What kind of idiotic clinic would call for a private ambulance? I was lucky to survive the trip to the ER. I found out it was private two weeks later when I got a $1200 bill for the ten-minute ride. All they did was start a saline-drip IV and hook me up to a monitor. The VA, which is usually pretty good at covering ER visits, wouldn’t cover the private ambo ride. All I could manage was getting a 10% discount from the private ambo company for being a veteran. How generous of them!
We sure have one messed up healthcare system! Too many greedy people poised and ready to take advantage of us when we’re at our most vulnerable.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

Bettie

(16,083 posts)
19. I was ill after my last child
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 05:32 PM
Sep 2019

got postpartum ecclampsia.

Had a seizure in my living room the day after a nightmare trip to the ER where no one bothered to call my OB/GYN, even with a four day old baby with me.

Got a notice from the insurance company that they weren't covering my hospitalization because I didn't notify them of my admission 48 hours in advance. I had a seizure and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

elocs

(22,560 posts)
20. I've never gotten an absurd medical bill.
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 05:37 PM
Sep 2019

You asked what I had ever received, not that it's never happened.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
21. $250 out of network for an emergency room visit while on a business trip.
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 09:24 PM
Sep 2019

Previous to that was $75 for treatment after a dogbite.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
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