First, you call your MS nurse (or doctor's liaison) to explain your symptoms.
"How long has this been going on?" I've been having problems with my legs since about January. I thought it had something to do with the Rheumatoid Arthritis. The shaking just got really noticeable about two weeks ago. Oh, and I'm lilting to the left.
"How's your bladder?" No problems. I don't think there's a UTI.
"How are your eyes?" They seem fine actually. Colors look equal. But my ears have been ringing loudly again and are sensitive to sound.
Second, the doctor's visit during which you explain all of the above and go through the standard neurological dog tricks, er, I mean exam.
"Oh, good. You came prepared." That's me, always prepared.
So I have finally received all the EOBs related to this visit, the 5-day IVSM, and the two follow-up visits which occurred in April and May. Here's the overview.
- Original charges billed to Insurance: $4535.40
- Charges disallowed by Insurance: $3551.91
- Amount paid by Insurance: $ 784.24
- Amount paid by Patient (OOP): $ 199.25
- Original charges billed to Insurance: $6017.00
- Charges disallowed by Insurance: $1002.85
- Amount paid by Insurance: $ 4513.04
- Amount paid by Patient (OOP): $ 501.41
Now keep in mind that while my out-of-pocket was $700.66, I also missed two weeks of work without the possibility of paid leave. As a self-employed person, with somewhat seasonal fluctuations in work opportunity, that makes a huge dent in my income while normal expenses continue to accrue.
Fortunately years ago, I chose an insurance policy with a small 10% coinsurance level. If I had chosen to go with a lower premium but larger 20% coinsurance, my cost would have been $1226.32. With a 30% coinsurance, my cost would have been $1751.98. If I had had a high-deductible policy, the kind which President Bush and others have been encouraging, my out-of-pocket cost would have been a whopping $5997.94 for the treatment of one exacerbation and one trip through the MRI machine.
Who ever said MS was inexpensive? Nobody I know.