yarn007
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yarn007, March 9,  2020  2:45am EST

WARNING

Many of us who have Diabetes also have depression and anxiety issues.   I wanted to post a warning to other site members who have such issues.   A situation happened to me that I would like to share.   I won't go into all the details of the situation, but I wanted to get the word out.    The issue is genetic testing that is offered to patients to see what psychotropic medications work best for you given your genetic makeup.   Now this testing can be enormously helpful to find the right medication to treat mental health issues.   The warning is this.   Patients are asked to sign a consent to have this testing done.   That is well in fine, but the problem is it is not completely disclosed as to how much this testing costs - the outright cost of it.   In my case I learned 4.5 months after I had the testing done I found out that the test was $5,500.   When I had the testing done I had met my out of pocket for the year.   I did not think I would owe much if anything for the test.   But when I signed the consent I was never told what my insurance might or might not cover (as is often the case) nor after repeated requests to know how much the test would cost (pre - insurance) was.   When I signed the consent I was under emotion duress (for a number of reasons I chose not to share).  Then when I was given the test the tech who did the test was impatient and in a hurry for me to sign the consent and given all the circumstances I didn't have a proper amount of time to read through the consent as I would have liked.

Here is the kicker and the reason I am posting this warning.   My insurance might might pay $700.00 of that bill.  The genetic company claims they haven't received any payment.   My EOB shows some kind of check was cut and it looks like it may be for $700.   I am on the hook for $4,800.   My insurance company claims this is "experimental" and there were some other reasons along that same line.   

Do you think that I ever would have consented to a possible $5,500 out of pocket bill if I had known about it.   The other kicker is that I am in bankruptcy.   Not the kind of bankruptcy that wipes out everything.   The kind of bankruptcy that I make 5 years of payments to the courts.   I am not allowed to incur more debt.   Just imagine what the bankruptcy court is going to have to say about this ( I am three years in to those payments).

My warning is this:   Do not sign a consent to do genetic testing until know the complete cost of the test.   By complete cost I mean this (what is the cost of the test if I didn't have insurance).   Because there is a good chance your insurance will deny that claim and you will be on the hook for the whole bill.

As a person who has mental health issues I feel I was taken advantage of.

 

4 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, March 9,  2020  9:20am EST

    Thank you so much for sharing this!  Surprise insurance billing is a big issue and a good topic i think. Best Katie

  • yarn007
    yarn007, March 10,  2020  1:52am EST

    Follow up to the above posting.   Since I was in no shape to deal with the situation above (stress was through the roof) my husband took care of the calling the company in question.   Due to our financial situation (bankruptcy - 5 years of payments to make until it is discharged), the company reduced the amount owed to $330.00.   I am so grateful I could fall over; however, the lessons I learned are permanently etched in my head.

    Lessons Learned

    1.  Never never feel pushed into a course of action when you are not yourself.  In my case I was off one of my medications (due to severe reaction) and I was vulnerable.   That day the doctor could have offered me anything and I would have done it because I was in such rough shape.   Next time I will bring my husband to such appointments as a second set of ears.

    2.   Never again will I sign a consent without sufficient time to read that consent or have a second person with me to think it through.   If that means I go home to think it through and have the test done another day so be it.

    3.   If the test is done by an outside group (i.e. a company not affiliated with the hospital I am at).   I will not sign that consent until I have called my insurance company to see if they cover that procedure.   What my insurance company would have told me is that what I was doing was "experimental" and they would have told me hands down they will not cover it.    Guess what insurance won't pay for it (even though I met deductible) I sure as heck am not going to go through that test.

    4.  If I had time to think this decision through (mind you I was off my medication) I would have realized that all the information from this test would be nice to have it isn't vital.   My care would not be any worse off for not having this information. 

    5.  I have learned to be even warier of health care providers.   I realize that not doctors have their patient's best interest at heart.  I guess I just need a reminder of this.

    6..  I will stop viewing myself as a patient (and being subordinate to doctors).   Instead I will view myself as a customer.   

    My pledge to myself is this.   I will: celebrate, be kind, praise, thank, and spread the word about wonderful caring doctors.   When I encounter doctors who are rude and demeaning I will not remain silent.  I will immediately report how I was treated to the proper clinic/hospital administrators.   

    I hope this post will be helpful to other patients who are struggling with their health and their medical care.   Sending my love out to each and every one of you.

  • yarn007
    yarn007, March 10,  2020  1:52am EST

    Thank you Katie.

  • vancet
    vancet, March 10,  2020  3:14am EST

    Whew.  That was quite a read. 

    Glad that was a happier ending.  But very poignant points about acting as being your own advocate as a consumer.  I definitely defer and don't challenge care givers enough (especially dentists).  

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