Photo courtesy of this website
Not having insurance hasn't really been an issue for me as an adult. Sure - I've had it at past jobs and not had it at others. I realized just how much it affects me last Friday though when I had a doctor's appointment. I paid out of pocket for the visit itself what wasn't too expensive. I found this doctor through a friend, and she's the only one I could find who'd see me without insurance. She was completely awesome and reasonable - double winner! However, they then sent me off to a diagnostic lab for tests . . . can you say sticker shock?! I can't tell you what exactly these tests were for; all I know is she ordered 5 for my thyroid. At the first diagnostic lab I visited, here's the breakdown of cost:
$215 (for one test!?!?!)
$18.14 (the 'we stick you with a needle fee')
If my handy-dandy calculator is correct, that's a total of $691.56. Eeeekk! But . . . the nurse who priced this out for me sat back, looked left, looked right and leaned in. She then whispered, "If you go across the street to the lab in the hospital, they charge about half of what we do. But . . . you didn't hear it from me." My jaw almost dropped. There are still good people in this world!! She kindly gave me directions, so I took my sticky note with the prices along with my test request paperwork and headed across the street. Their jaws dropped when I told them that the 4th test alone (something to do with vitamin D, I think) was $215 at the diagnostic lab I'd come from. Here's the breakdown at the hospital, in the same order:
$8 - $9 (their 'we stick you with a needle fee' was estimated to be this)
You don't need a calculator for this folks. A quick glance shows that I paid a little less than $200 as opposed to almost $700. Whew. I feel like I need to get the nurse who directed me across the street some type of thank you as I hadn't even thought about going to the hospital. I'm very thankful for people like her, and for my friend who hooked me up with a doctor. Thank you!