Boxley and her 13-year-old son have health insurance through her job
as an administrative assistant in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But the plan has a
deductible of $5,000 apiece, and Boxley's doctor said he won't do the
surgery until she prepays her share of the cost. His office estimates
that will be as much as $2,500. Boxley is worried that the hospital may
demand its cut as well before the surgery can be performed.
"I'm so angry," Boxley said. "If I need medical care, I should be able to get it without having to afford it up front."
three-quarters of health care and hospital systems now ask for payment
at the time services are provided, a practice known as "point-of-service
collections," estimated Richard Gundling, a senior vice president at
the Healthcare Financial Management Association, an industry group. He
could not say how many were doing so for more highly priced services or
for patients with high-deductible plans -- situations that would likely
result in out-of-pocket outlays of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Stay Healthy my Friends...