Then the real paperwork shuffle begins. Doctor and facility bills arrive, insurance statements that are undecipherable come. Phone calls to obtain translations. Payments are made but you're still not done.That's exactly what it was like when my husband had hip replacement surgery five years ago. Ten weeks ago he had his other hip replaced.Same surgery, same orthopedic surgeon, same hospital.In 2003 he was covered under our private insurance policy which was costing us nearly $1000/month.The hospital and doctor charges were just over $35,000Now he's covered under Medicare ($96/mo) + a supplemental ($140/mo)This time the charges came to about $16,000And this is five years later!We've received exactly three provider mailings that just itemized the list of charges that were being billed to Medicare and his supplemental provider.In 2003 our out-of-pocket costs on that $35,000 tab was approx $4000.In 2003 the paperwork filled a 3-inch file folder.This time I have exactly three pieces of paper in a file, and our out-of-pocket cost is $0.If this is representative of how government-managed health care can operate, I say "priceless".Jeanie
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