General Question

marionana's avatar

Liable for co-payment...?

Asked by marionana (103points) January 1st, 2012

Drove 35 miles, waited exactly half an hour in the examining room for a rheumatologist. When I told him I wanted to deal with psoriatic arthritis (?) naturally…he proceded to tell me he wasn’t qualified in alternative medicine, wished me luck and sent me on my way.

I asked him about Xrays and blood work to show how bad the inflammation was, and if there was any damage to the joints in my hands. His response, not necessary he was 100% sure it was psoriatic arthritis.

Received a bill after my insurance paid the office visit minus the $40.00 co-payment which is my responsibility.

I felt he rushed me out of his office because I wasn’t open to his suggestion to go on powerful long term medication guaranteeing he’d have me be back every two months…..$$$$$$ Plus, rushing me out under four minutes made up for how behind he was running that day.

Told his supervisor how I felt and that I have no intention of paying the co-payment…reminding him my time was just as important as one of his doctors. He told me I was liable for the co-payment.

My question…..if I MUST, can I send a check for $1.00 monthly till the $40.OO is paid up.

Thanks for your suggestions!!!!

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15 Answers

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
SavoirFaire's avatar

First, of course you are liable for the co-payment. Your time is just as valuable as the doctor’s, but you are the one who went to him for advice. If he came to you, then you could charge him. It would have been extremely easy to call in advance and ask if he was qualified and willing to give you advice regarding alternatives to pharmaceuticals. This would have gotten you out of the wait, the co-payment, and the taking of a spot that someone else might have wanted.

Second, just pay the $40.00. You can try doing what you plan to do, but it is a feeble protest over something fairly minor. Plus, you could wind up with a collection agency on your back if the doctor’s office decides that two can play the passive-aggressive game.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I kinda feel you owe the money. You made an apointment to see the guy. Maybe you didn’t like the advice you got, which is fair enough, but he still saw you and offered you his advice.
Yes you time is just as valuble as the doctors so why didn’t you find a doc who offered the service you wanted before you booked the apointment so you wouldn’t be wasting your own time.

Eureka's avatar

Yes, you are liable for the co pay. The fact that you did not accept his diagnosis has nothing to do with the fact that you made the appointment, and he did see you. The co pay is for an office visit – which you got. So pay for the service you got, in full ( please do not be childish enough to wirte 40 $1 checks) and move on.

marionana's avatar

Thanks guys, when you put it that way it does seem childish. That’s why I wanted other opinions…:-)

I forgot to mention I had a consultation with the doctor ten months ago, he knew I was hesitate about going on medication, he told me to go home and think about it. I decided to go way of diet, exercise, smoothies, bought a vita-mix. I thought he would work with me. Check to see if was allergic to certain foods known to cause flair-ups, if not him, maybe he could suggest an allergist.

Being as I had blood work and X-rays the first visit, the results of the test to show inflammation was low he would redo them to see the progression even if I wasn’t agreeing to take medication. A good rheumatoligist works along with his patient…is open to ideas other than medication.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would be frustrated too, @marionana, and I totally understand that you didn’t feel you had received adequate treatment. I’d want to not pay that bill either. But….in the end, it’ll hurt you more than them.

Since this is resolved I have to tell you…I left the wireless company I had worked for for 4 years with some hard feelings. I wound up with a bill for a $.10 CREDIT. I let them keep sending me that bill, month after month, because I happened to know it costs about $15.00 per bill to send them out. Heh. But, I finally started feeling sorry for the trees so I called them and got them off of the hook they didn’t even know they were on.

marionana's avatar

Thanks Duchess….great story! Your right, it will hurt me more than them…:-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Our local hospital recently sent a bill to collections that I had been paying something on every month. I hadn’t missed a payment. I’ve paid off at least three bills $10, $20 at a time over the last 10 years. The original bill was over $600 and I still had a balance of $280. I guess they decided they didn’t like that and sent it to collections. I had one other bill that I still owed $40 on (Originally over $300.) They left that one in house….I seriously, SERIOUSLY didn’t want to pay that off I was so mad! But…I did. And I sent a nasty letter to the head of their financial department and to the Board of Directors. Never heard back.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
marionana's avatar

Thanks for the welcome, Duchess!

I was always under the impression, if you paid an agreed amount no matter how long it took to pay off the bill it was legally okay…???

Laws change I everything else..:-((((

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was under that impression too, but I guess they recently changed their billing system or whatever. In my opinion it’s just bad business. It costs them money to send a bill to collections.

marionana's avatar

Oh well….no sense fighting city hall, right!!!!

john65pennington's avatar

$2.00 a month will be a better payment.

BosM's avatar

If you have a legitmate complaint about the doctor then find a way to express it so that he/she can view it constructively. There are physician rating sites such as where you can research physicians and provide feedback.

No disrespect intended but given your decision on course of treatment you may have tried communicating expectations to the doctor ahead of your visit since you had questions outside his scope of training.

You have a story to tell, do so in a way that the doctor can view it constructively. As for payment, yes you owe it. Stretch it out do so over 2–3 months, but 40 months isn’t right. You’ll spend 50% more on stamps mailing payments and they’ll charge you interest too.

blueiiznh's avatar

Yes you are responsible for the co-pay as services were rendered. Your co-pay responsibility has no clause in it relative to whether you liked the provider or the outcome. You however do have a method to file your experience and displeasure for the services your insurance provider. They actaully paid the majority of the bill and do like to know how services are from providers.
As far as your payment goes for the co-pay, they have to bill you in a timely fashion as it sounds that they did. Now you have 90 days to pay before they can send to collections. This can vary a bit based on how good or bad their billing department is. There are strick laws related to billing rights for patients and providers. You can pay 1 a month only if it is agreed to by the provider.
I suggest just paying it as you don’t want a poor experience to cause an issue with your credit report as it can for non-payment.
Sorry to hear this, but at least let the insurance carrier know.

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