A review by the New York State Department of Financial Services found that patients who went out of their way to make sure the non-emergency treatment they sought was covered by their medical insurance still wound up with bills from specialists — such as assistant surgeons, anesthesiologists and radiologists — who were outside their plan. That’s because it’s often unclear who will be involved and how much it will cost, the report found.
One patient who complained to the Financial Services department made sure to go to an in-network hospital for brain surgery but wound up with a surgeon who wasn’t in his plan. The surgeon billed him $40,091 and the insurer covered only $8,386 – leaving him to cough up $31,704.
[Much of the above comes from the Daily News, which had the best of the articles that I saw. Except that the Daily News blamed the insurance companies. While I hate the insurance companies as much as the next fellow, this is the fault of the doctors and hospitals. It even happened to me. I went for a procedure with a doctor who was in-network. While I was being prepped, the anesthesiologist, who works for one of those rent-a-doc outfits, wanted me to sign a contract saying I would pay for his services myself even though he wasn’t in network. Fat chance, doc. You can Bite Me.]