Feeling like a charity case

Published 8:13 pm Friday, March 26, 2010

I think I have an idea what our future health care will be.

I am a retired state employee who was encouraged to switch my Medicare and state benefit insurance to Medicare Direct (a Medicare advantage program). So, I am already covered by a government program.

It looked good, at first, but now I am seeing the results.

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I was billed $466 by the McIntosh Clinic for X-rays, pulmonary tests and a doctor’s visit. I paid $25 and Medicare Direct paid $53.55 for a total, which was less than 17 percent of the charge.

For a CT scan at the hospital, I was billed $1,494. I paid $95 and Medicare Direct paid $264.88 for a total less than 25 percent of the charge. For laboratory services I was charged $193. Medicare Direct paid $26.16, less than 13 percent. I paid nothing.

I received excellent care and should not complain, because it cost me very little. However, I have to wonder how long the doctor can stay in business and the hospital stay solvent.

The government can “cover” everybody in the country, but if they don’t pay the providers, how long will they be available to us.

I have always been thankful that I had good insurance, but now I am beginning to feel like a charity case.

Jill ScottBainbridge, Ga.