Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Health Care Cost Rant

The cost of health care in the US these days is ridiculous.  The amount they are charging for basic medical procedures is so out of proportion to how much people are earning from their jobs.  I currently have decent health insurance which definitely helps, but that does not change the fact that I am still extremely bothered by how much the health care industry to taking advantage of people.

I am pretty healthy for the most part so I don't have to go to the doctor or buy prescription drugs very often.  I recently went to the doctor for a basic check up after having not gone from the past 3 years.  The check up included one immunization, a blood test, and urine test in addition to the basic look over.

A couple weeks go by and I get the bill in the mail.  Shouldn't be too much right, for just a check up?  How does $1000 sound?  Yes that's right.  In total, that's how much they charged for their services.  Now I didn't actually have to pay this.  The insurance covered most of it, and some how whatever the insurance doesn't cover, they just don't charge you as long as you are part of the PPO network.  But still, without the insurance, they are charging about $1000 for a routine check up.  That is insane if you ask me.

On the bill, they don't even tell you what the charges are for exactly.  For example, there were 4 different charges for "lab services".  Now I know I didn't have that many lab tests done.  I had to call up the office and ask about these charges.  They explained that the blood test is broken down into several different tests and they charge for each individual test separately. 

It's just getting way out of hand and there needs to be a stop to it.  Prices for medical services need to come down to a reasonable level.  Then those prices need to be clearly advertised to patients BEFORE they go in for an appointment.  These costs need to be publicly available for patients so they can compare the costs between local offices and hospitals.

As it stands right now, it's really not even worth it to go to the doctor with the outlandish amounts of money they are charging.  I hope something is done about this to make the health care system better for everyone.

Update 7-10-13:
I just went to pick up a prescription at the local pharmacy.  I get there any they say it is $60 for a small thing of medication, and that is with insurance!  I turned it down and asked them to find a generic version for less.  They have to call to the doctor to make sure it is ok.  Then I go online to check how much they charged my insurance.  For this medication, they charged about $500!  Now not to disclose any details, but this medication is very minor and not something that is really necessary, and they have the nerve to charge $500 for it?  I don't care what it does, nothing this small is worth anywhere close to that amount. The madness continues. 

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