Balance Billing - a term/practice to learn about......
Never heard of Balance Billing? Me either. But, I do know that I have long thought the main reason to have health insurance was to avoid getting hit with those ridiculously high amounts showing on my insurance statements as "amount billed".
Just as an example I looked up a recent billing for some tests I got. Medicare says the total bill charged was $542. Medicare paid $247. Anthem (my supplement) says they paid $47 and my share is "$0" so the total approved amount of the $542 was $294.
So, the provider had to "eat" $248 of the amount they billed. If I did not have "coverage" that required the vendor only get the allowed amount, I would be getting (assuming they would have done the procedure) a bill and collection activity for the full $542. Now they want to make it possible to force me to pay the full $248 difference between billed and payable by my third party coverage. If they give this serious consideration, they damn well better put something in place to ensure we are not being overcharged. I always assumed the provider billed more so they gradually would have their allowable rates increased. I think rates paid to docs should be fair and I think hospitals should be put on annual budgets instead of itemized billings. I think all the paperwork for billing processing done for me by Medicare, my supplement insurance and my provider should be eliminated. It is so hard to understand and adds no value to my health care. Do away with all that paperwork and we can save a fortune to put into universal access single payer health care.