So I recently finished up my cataract surgery. My eyes are healing reasonably well, and I should receive my new progressive lenses from my ophthalmologist in about a week. Until then, I’m using drugstore magnifying specs to get through my day – at least for close-up work. Distance viewing is fine.
Which is why, last Friday, I got a shock.
And by “shock,” I mean I received a big fat bill from my cataract surgeon.
Now wait a second.
If you follow my blog, you’ll remember I wrote a post about how my left eye surgery almost didn’t happen, in that the surgery center charged me an extra $600 for the procedure – which was due to, in their words, that I hadn’t reached my insurance deductible for the year.
I was upset … but I paid the deductible and left things at that.
But I was under the impression that my right eye surgery – the one I had in December 2018 – was covered completely, and all I needed was a $100 copay for the surgery. So why now is my cataract surgeon sending me a bill for $600 – on top of the $600 I already paid the surgery center – for the second surgery?
It’s not like I have double vision when it comes to paying medical bills. But this looks like I’m paying twice for the same procedure. And trust me, this is the only double vision I want to deal with in my lifetime.
By the way, why isn’t Foreigner in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Oh yeah, for the same reasons Boston and Styx and the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Grand Funk aren’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame… but I digress.
I called my eye surgeon’s office.
“I received this bill.”
“Yes sir, will you be using a credit card or can we expect payment by cash or check?”
“No, I believe I already paid this amount at the surgery center.”
“Mr. Miller, you didn’t meet your deductible with your insurance company, so you need to pay us that amount.”
“But I met that deductible at the surgery center,” I repeated.
“We have no record of that. Please let us know when we may receive payment.”
Okay … I need to call the surgery center.
A phone call over there. I explain the situation.
I get transferred to the billing department.
Here we go. I’m waiting for another explanation about why I owe this company and that company this double-dipping amount.
A few minutes later …
“Well … er … um … it seems as if we owe you some money.”
Yep. Here’s what happened.
As it was the beginning of the year, I needed to reach a $600 deductible with my medical insurance company before I could have them cover my surgery. I paid that on the day of the surgery. But … at the same time … my eye surgeon’s office, whose surgery fee would have been covered by insurance, sent me a bill for what they thought was the insurance deductible.
Now I could have been a little sheep and paid $1200 – essentially paying twice when I needed to only pay once – but that’s a lot of money. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not buy something for twice the price.
And with that … $600 was wound back onto my credit card, and a receipt for same we e-mailed to me. Aces.
I immediately called my surgeon’s office and paid the bill that they were due. So realistically, the money was supposed to go to the surgeon – or the surgery center – but not both. Situation resolved, and Chuck’s credit rating remains solid.
Which just goes to show you … if you see something on your credit card slips or on your billing statements that doesn’t look quite right … it never hurts to call and confirm. Because – quel courage – billing companies make mistakes. And sometimes it’s up to you to catch those mistakes, lest you simply throw your money away.
The moral of this story?
Don’t mess with my finances.