Reminder: Make Sure Medical Procedures Are Covered Before You OK Them

Nick suffers from back pain and thought he’d seek chiropractor care for some pain relief. What he got in return was the sting of a nasty hospital bill because his insurance wouldn’t pay for his x-rays, even though the nurse and doctor assured him the scans would be covered.

Nick writes:

In trying to be a good consumer and help others learn from my mistakes, you guys might want to consider reminding your readers to ALWAYS check health care coverage themselves over taking a doctor’s “assurance” that everything is covered. I say this because today I dished out $280 for X-Rays that I had taken at my new chiropractor’s office. On my first visit I was assured by the nurse that I was covered and again by the doctor when I expressed my concern that my insurance would cover everything since I did not currently have the funds. Like true snake oil salesmen they convinced me not to worry and generally made me feel like my health was the first concern. Upon my second visit I was told that my insurance would in fact not cover my X-Rays and that I owed them $280 for these.

I know that I should not have went to see a chiropractor as holistic/alternative medicine is a farce, but after a decade of worsening back pain I was desperate. Don’t let your desperation for relief take away from your ability to think rationally.

Although Nick’s rage against holistic and alternative medicine seems a little misplaced — most insurances cover chriropractor care — he does have a point about checking with insurance companies before you sign off on any elective procedures. It’s not a great idea to trust the assumptions of medical professionals who may not have the intricacies of every health plan of every patient committed to memory.

Of course, now that the doctors will need to get their money from Nick rather than the insurance company, Nick can try some haggling to tip things in his favor.

(Photo: Evey Wiechert)