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United Healthcare

Old Oct 6th 2009, 1:04 pm
  #1  
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Thumbs down United Healthcare

Used the 'Treatment Cost Estimator' on their site before our daughter had a procedure to get a rough idea of our out-of-pocket costs.
We actually got billed for 3 times that amount. I know it is purely an 'Estimate' but even the Supervisor I spoke to at UHC was shocked. She suggested that I appeal and see what they could do for me (likely nothing).
Apparently the billed amount was correct but they are at a loss as to why the Estimator (that they encourage you to use all the time) was so far off.

Oh well, guess I'll write a letter and hope for the best.
Just wanted to vent a little
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

I HATE this about the American health insurance system. How does anyone know what their bill will be and how they are going to afford it. What's worse is that a lot of people will be putting off having medical care they need as they know they can't afford the bill. The NHS has its faults but at least sending patients to the poorhouse isn't one of them. The last time I went to see our PCP the girl at the desk asked me what I should be paying for the appointment .

Hope your daughter is doing well HD.
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

I don't blame you. I have to say I'm not surprised, however. Medical billing is the ultimate scam - no-one ever discusses costs before a procedure, then you receive a confusing barrage of paperwork quoting this, denying that, you owe this, but don't pay that....at the end of the day its all a huge con, designed to be confusing - but that's how it is. Corrupt middlemen lining their own pockets. United no different to anyone else.
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

I got a bill yesterday, I had had 2 vials of blood drawn at my Dr's office, they do the tests there too, the bill was for $382.60, it said I wasn't covered by my insurance for any part of it

I called the insurance company and questioned my coverage, they said the Dr's office had submitted it under my SSN instead of hubby's, they just needed to resubmit it and it would be covered. phew!

The thing that pissed me off though, is the Dr's office charged for a 'finger stick' test, which I didn't even have
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

Unfortunately I have had some experience with United Health Care - and here is what I know - everything is open for negotiation.

Call UHC and ask to speak to a case manager, that person should be your advocate and help you work with the providers.

Also if your insurance is through your company – get in touch with the Benefits people there (they are usually part of HR Comp and Benefits), find out who in HR Benefits owns the UHC contract, ask them for the name of their contact and call that person directly.

Speak directly to the provider try and negotiate the cost down with them, I’ve seen bills be cut in ½ just be talking with the right person.

It will be time consuming and for a while it might feel like a full time job just dealing with these people, but with perseverance it might just pay off.

Good luck
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

Write to the doctor/medical center first and ask them if the bill can be adjusted as United Healthcare only paid so much and your out of pocket expenses are too great at this time for payment in full. blah blah blah. Or offer to pay a cash amount of say 1/2 or 1/3 of the bill as payment in full to settle the account.

Originally Posted by HoosierDaddy View Post
Used the 'Treatment Cost Estimator' on their site before our daughter had a procedure to get a rough idea of our out-of-pocket costs.
We actually got billed for 3 times that amount. I know it is purely an 'Estimate' but even the Supervisor I spoke to at UHC was shocked. She suggested that I appeal and see what they could do for me (likely nothing).
Apparently the billed amount was correct but they are at a loss as to why the Estimator (that they encourage you to use all the time) was so far off.

Oh well, guess I'll write a letter and hope for the best.
Just wanted to vent a little
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

CO.Ski - is a Case Manger the same as a 'Resolution Specialist'? That was the final person I spoke to there.
Thanks for the other advice too!

Cheers Rete - again, good advice.

Babz - the wee one is fine thanks
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

I hate all this about US healthcare too. My hubby had an injection in his lower back a few months ago. It took about 10 minutes tops, so imagine my surprise later to see my insurance was billed nearly $5800.

While our out of pocket was only the copay, it still was abundantly clear just how much costs are truly out of control. Aetna paid them less than that (whatever their 'agreed rate' was) - but why the hell was it that much to start with?? Because they can get away with it I guess!

Don't get me wrong - I'm no fan of the NHS either, but this just showed the fundamental problem of our system - the outrageous costs. I hope that is solved with whatever legislation we get going forward.
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

HoosierDaddy - No I don't believe they are the same - The Case Manager - is someone who is considered to be your advocate, they should know everything about your case.

Try to keep pushing and asking for the next person in the chain.

Good luck and I hope you daughter is getting better.
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

Originally Posted by CO.Ski View Post
HoosierDaddy - No I don't believe they are the same - The Case Manager - is someone who is considered to be your advocate, they should know everything about your case.

Try to keep pushing and asking for the next person in the chain.

Good luck and I hope you daughter is getting better.
Thanks. I'll work on that.

The wee one (15 months) had a CAT scan on the advice of the doctor as he said her head was measuring large. We trusted him and had the scan done. Results came back free and clear. No biggie ('cept the bill)!
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

What ticks me, is that when you use an in-network doctor, that doctor has signed a contract stating they will accept payment in full from the healthcare insurance. That means that they will not bill you for additional fees. I'm assuming you followed the rules and used an in-network doctor. Did you ask before the procedure if payment by your health insurance constitutes payment in full or if you would be billed for any overage?

I would urge everyone to ask about this before having anything medical care procedure.



Originally Posted by HoosierDaddy View Post
Used the 'Treatment Cost Estimator' on their site before our daughter had a procedure to get a rough idea of our out-of-pocket costs.
We actually got billed for 3 times that amount. I know it is purely an 'Estimate' but even the Supervisor I spoke to at UHC was shocked. She suggested that I appeal and see what they could do for me (likely nothing).
Apparently the billed amount was correct but they are at a loss as to why the Estimator (that they encourage you to use all the time) was so far off.

Oh well, guess I'll write a letter and hope for the best.
Just wanted to vent a little
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
What ticks me, is that when you use an in-network doctor, that doctor has signed a contract stating they will accept payment in full from the healthcare insurance.
I wish mine worked like that. We use the doctors in the hospital system that provides our insurance but we still have fairly significant costs over the course of a year.
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

Originally Posted by Duncan Roberts View Post
I wish mine worked like that. We use the doctors in the hospital system that provides our insurance but we still have fairly significant costs over the course of a year.

I've only had this problem once and I didn't ask before hand and that was with my cataract surgery. I never asked the clinic if they accepted payment in full from the health insurance and got hit with a $1,000 bill. Of course, I then called and we negoitated a smaller fee which I paid in full immediately.
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
What ticks me, is that when you use an in-network doctor, that doctor has signed a contract stating they will accept payment in full from the healthcare insurance. That means that they will not bill you for additional fees. I'm assuming you followed the rules and used an in-network doctor. Did you ask before the procedure if payment by your health insurance constitutes payment in full or if you would be billed for any overage?

I would urge everyone to ask about this before having anything medical care procedure.
I also get annoyed with the deductibles & co-pays. It's not enough to pay your monthly premiums no no you still have to keep on paying.

Our family (of 3) used the doctors office twice last year - the 'agreed rate' with Aetna was $108 per visit - as our deductible is $500 pp or $1000 in total for the family we paid the lot. 1 visit this year so far $98 this time and as we are into another year/deductible - we paid the full amount. Of course we should be glad that we are in such good health but DH pays @ $250 per month and the company contributes $400 or so. So the plan has received @ $10,400 so far without paying out a cent to us. And of course we are far too terrified not to have insurance just in case we need insurance for something serious - they totally have the population over a barrel.

And don't get me started on car insurance/home insurance - both running at @$2600 per year.
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Old Oct 6th 2009, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: United Healthcare

I went to the doctor for an annual checkup. A week later I got a bill for over $1000. They had accidentally booked the treatment as being 'treament for obesity'!! I called them up and they re-submitted, but its not nice to have to worry like that.
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