I ran into a friend, Garth Prosser, in Breckenridge a couple weeks ago and he told me that last year he was diagnosed with Colon cancer. I was surprised. I remembered seeing him at the Berryman Epic last fall, but didn’t hear anything about him racing on chemo.
Anyway, after talking with him for a bit, he got me thinking and I decided that I need to get a colonoscopy. It is way easier thinking you need one than actually getting one as it turns out.
I got on the computer and looked up all the places that do one in Topeka. I am pretty sure my insurance isn’t going to pay for it, so I was shopping around. The problem is that you can’t really shop around because no one really knows exactly how much it costs. The Internet says that a cheap price in Kansas is around $500, good price $750 and expensive $1300. I don’t know where they came up with those numbers, but the best/lowest price I could find after being on the phone for 3 hours was around $2000. And I’m not sure that is a hard number really.
My best source of information was the billing company for a local hospital. I told the women my situation and she seemed interested. She told me it would be between $1200-$1600 for the surgery center, then the same about for the doctor. But she said if I was self pay that they would reduce that amount by $600 each. So that took the total procedure down to between $1200 and $2000. Quite a spread there.
Then, at the end of the conversation, she told me she forgot the anesthetist charge, which would be another $600. She said her computer didn’t show a self pay charge, so I should just wait 3 or 4 months after I receive the bill, then call them and they would come up with a reduction. Wow.
I can’t think of another segment of our society that can’t quote you a price on something as important as this. It is so convoluted and confusing that even reasonable thinking people can’t understand it.
I was reading that under the affordable health care act (Obamacare), that this might be covered. So I called my health insurance agent and asked her if she might know. I’ve had the same health insurance for nearly 25 years. Trudi and I are the only health policies the agent does still. She told me it is so screwed up and takes so much time, it isn’t worth it to her.
So she called my insurance company and talked to them. After an hour, she called me back and said they couldn’t say if it would be covered and they needed some time to figure it out. That each state has its own rules and they would get back to her shortly. That was two days ago.
So I am still at square one. I want to get this done, but don’t want to just spin a roulette wheel for the final cost. I’m gonna get back at it today and see if I have some better luck. Our medical system is so jacked up that I’m nearly embarrassed to be participating. But, what choices do we have?