Author Topic: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER  (Read 1767 times)

Emergo

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$4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« on: May 17, 2019, 01:20:59 PM »
This was my first ever time going to the ER. I am shocked at the cost.

Background:
I am 30 years old. Two weeks ago I had collapsed (didnt faint, but fell down due to the dizziness) in the morning while at work. It was due to vertigo/ high blood pressure ( reading was 230/140). My boss drove me to the hospital. They gave me a Ct scan, pills, hooked me up to an IV. I was there for four hours.

Is there any way to minimize this cost? I am just shocked. 

I have been putting money into my HSA, and I do have $6000 in there. Should i just dip into that and pay it off? They are providing me an option to pay monthly for 2 years at 170 each month.

Papa bear

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 01:25:02 PM »
1) do you have insurance?
2) if not, donít pay it. Keep negotiating for something better.  Like a reduction for cash up front. Or better payment terms. 


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walkwalkwalk

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 01:30:56 PM »
1) do you have insurance?
They said they have been putting money into an HSA, so they have to be covered by an HDHP (high deductible health plan) ((unless they meant contributing in the past when they were covered by an HDHP))

2) if not, don’t pay it. Keep negotiating for something better.  Like a reduction for cash up front. Or better payment terms. 
If the hospital was out of network, as some HDHPs have horrible networks, this may very well be a good deal. We don't know the specifics.

Whether they dip into their HSA is a personal question, and also involves whether they have the money invested and whether they pay fees every month for the HSA.

honeybbq

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 01:51:33 PM »


Some hospitals will give discounts for all cash but I'm guessing since you have insurance you are just talking about your out of pocket max. Be grateful you are not gravely ill and that you have insurance and that it was nothing serious.

Review your bill and make sure there are no extra charges or charges for things that were not done.

**I do wish we had universal healthcare, but until we do, hospitals are a business and need to make money to stay open.

Telecaster

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 02:18:52 PM »
If the hospital was out of network, as some HDHPs have horrible networks, this may very well be a good deal. We don't know the specifics.

It is worse than that.  Even if the hospital is in the network, the doctor still could be out of network and thus you are subject to out of network rates.   

v8rx7guy

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 02:20:57 PM »
All of our ER visits over the last 4 years have been $1,800 minimum... I think if  you even drive by the ER these days you're required to throw $20 out the window.

mm1970

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 02:26:39 PM »
All of our ER visits over the last 4 years have been $1,800 minimum... I think if  you even drive by the ER these days you're required to throw $20 out the window.

ha ha

sigh

My  most recent ER visit wasn't cheap either.  $2500?  Not including the ambulance ride there.  And no CT scan or anything, just Xrays.

Laserjet3051

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 02:35:11 PM »
CT scan? sounds like you got a GREAT deal (no sarcasm implied). I went to the ER and all I got were a few x-rays (much cheaper than CT) and was still on the hook for $4K.


FireHiker

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2019, 03:35:18 PM »
It's outrageous, isn't it? I have insurance and took my son to get stitches (7) at urgent care a few months ago. It was over $800 out of pocket. I paid for it with a credit card (for points) then submitted to my HSA for reimbursement. Thank goodness we've had a good few years paying into the HSA, but our deductible is $4000 so a couple bad years could blow through our HSA pretty quickly.

MilesTeg

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2019, 03:56:37 PM »
This was my first ever time going to the ER. I am shocked at the cost.

Background:
I am 30 years old. Two weeks ago I had collapsed (didnt faint, but fell down due to the dizziness) in the morning while at work. It was due to vertigo/ high blood pressure ( reading was 230/140). My boss drove me to the hospital. They gave me a Ct scan, pills, hooked me up to an IV. I was there for four hours.

Is there any way to minimize this cost? I am just shocked. 

I have been putting money into my HSA, and I do have $6000 in there. Should i just dip into that and pay it off? They are providing me an option to pay monthly for 2 years at 170 each month.

0.) Make sure the bill is accurate
1.) Negotiate a cash settlement
2.) Pay your bill, so that others don't have to.

wenchsenior

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2019, 08:39:24 AM »
CT scan? sounds like you got a GREAT deal (no sarcasm implied). I went to the ER and all I got were a few x-rays (much cheaper than CT) and was still on the hook for $4K.

I was thinking the same thing.  I went to the emergency room about 10 years ago for breathlessness and numbness in one shoulder and got just an EKG, bloodwork, etc. for heart attack screening, and it was about 3K with regular (not high-deductible) insurance. Again, at least 10 years ago, and at a covered hospital.

FIREstache

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2019, 09:03:55 AM »
Yikes.  That sounds very high.  I have a $100 deductible for ER and have never had to use it.

Rosy

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2019, 09:30:29 AM »
$4K is what Mr. R. faced along with a separate doctor bill which arrived later for a similar ER visit and CT scan.

His insurance picked up a big chunk of it except for the out of network doctor and he was able to negotiate a 20% cash discount with the hospital for his share.
He's 59 and had never been to the ER before - he was as shocked as you and didn't believe me when I told him to call the hospital for a discount.

Abe

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2019, 10:40:58 PM »
I'd call the hospital and see if you can get a lower rate. It doesn't hurt and sometimes they will compromise.

Also, did they test you for a tumor called pheochromocytoma or for kidney problems? That's a really high blood pressure for someone your age. No need to respond for your privacy sake, but do ask your doctor about those two things.

Aggie1999

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2019, 08:41:36 AM »
For those that have got a cash payment discount, did you call the hospital up or wait for them to call you? I've currently got an outstanding bill of ~$3k from an ER visit. This is my part of the insurance. One friend that works in some form of hospital administration told me to ignore it until internal hospital collections calls after 60 days. Also got the same advice from another friend that got a cash payment discount. It's been around 75 days since the initial bill was sent to me. No call other than a payment reminder type call at the ~45 day mark where the woman would not decrease the bill any. I wonder how long I can wait before the hospital sends the bill to a real collection agency?

hops

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2019, 09:09:54 AM »
When I've gotten a cash payment discount, it was 25% off, offered on-site after service. But there's only one hospital system in my area that does that, and it isn't one of our better systems (we only went there because I knew my issue was minor, but not minor enough for Urgent Care). The rest bill you later and you can call to negotiate.

OP, that blood pressure's insane. I hope you got to the bottom of that.

Bernard

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2019, 04:47:26 PM »
Love this country, wouldn't want to live anywhere else, but as an immigrant who lived in 5 European countries, let me tell you, the US healthcare system sucks like a Hoover. If you live in Europe, you never have to worry about health care costs. You go to the doctor, or end up in the ER, show them your card, and it's being taken care of. In some countries, there's a $5 or $10 co-payment for medications, but that's it.

v8rx7guy

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2019, 05:23:42 PM »
Love this country, wouldn't want to live anywhere else, but as an immigrant who lived in 5 European countries, let me tell you, the US healthcare system sucks like a Hoover. If you live in Europe, you never have to worry about health care costs. You go to the doctor, or end up in the ER, show them your card, and it's being taken care of. In some countries, there's a $5 or $10 co-payment for medications, but that's it.

What if you don't have a card?  What is a card... proof of citizenship?  Serious question, I have no idea.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 05:29:17 PM by v8rx7guy »

BicycleB

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Re: $4000 medical fee for going to the ER
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2019, 08:18:40 AM »
Wow, you guys are making me REALLY glad I haven't been to the ER!!!!!  I hope that admitting that isn't a jinx - I feel very grateful.

OP, best wishes getting to the bottom of this blood pressure thing. I had blood pressure incident (much lighter) in my 30s and it got me to exercise semi-consistently for 20 years...but something immediate's going on, I would assume a more specific immediate resolution is possible and needed. Very much good luck to you.