‘Phil’ has beaten not one but two rounds of cancer. His insurer has paid $700,000 of claims. Other than follow up tests and scans – all showing no cancer – ‘Phil’ has won this battle. But with financial “complications,” it’s starting to feel like a pyrrhic victory.
You see, with deductibles and coinsurance, ‘Phil’ has had out of pocket charges (not to mention premiums) approaching $6,000 several years in a row. With inconsistent wage and tip income in a stagnant economy, ignored hospital bills are now in the hands of cold-hearted collection agencies.
A more pro-active approach might start with the health insurer’s employee assistance (EAP) hot line. Then a visit to the hospital’s Patient Services Department to negotiate a repayment plan. Should you need a licensed credit counselor or legal help, The Wisconsin Department of Health Services website offers resources; click here for more information.
Some would argue the plight of the under-insured is a case for nationalized health. To that, ‘Phil’ says “debt free but dead isn’t such a good deal either!”
Out of the mouths of babes . . . . . . .