As it happened, when I was transferred from Jasper to an Indianapolis hospital in March, I was transferred to a hospital outside of my insurance network. I was at the Indianapolis hospital for six days before someone in "care management" visited my room to inform me that I was out-of-network and likely would receive high medical bills. The following day, I was dismissed.
Not long afterward, the denied insurance claims and subsequent bills started. In the ensuing months, I've made scores of calls to the insurance company and health care providers. All while trying to recover from cancer. I fought an initial bill — for $2,684, lost the first appeal and am preparing the second. Yesterday I spoke with the director of the local ER and she is more than willing to join my fight. She said the ER sends a patient to the facility where the most appropriate care will be given in the most efficient manner. This is how I ended up in Indianapolis. Out-of-network. She agreed with me that given I was in pain that soon would require 180 mg. of Oxycontin a day plus additional pain relievers to manage, it wasn't at all my fault that I didn't halt the ER doc's mission to get me relief while I double-checked my insurance policy.
In today's mail I received more insurance claims. The first set, dated June 24, ended with me owing the Indianapolis hospital more than $45,000. The second set, a recalculation for the same services but dated June 25. ended with me owing ... $585.
With the threat of those undeserved bills finally passed, I'm feeling better already. I do resent the insurance battles of the past three months, but I carry a lighter load as my recovery continues.