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A discovery made on the spot: Health insurance no longer enough
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Editor:
    As an established patient of a neurologist practicing in our immediate area, I responded for my scheduled appointment for a diagnostic test.
    Routinely, upon entering the physician's office, I displayed my drivers license and health insurance card to the receptionist, but on this visit I detected that something was wrong. Within a few seconds, the staff member who handles all the billing responded to the window and informed me that although I have a health insurance policy that is considered excellent, (a 90/10 policy), it is now required of me to pay immediately the 10 percent not covered by the insurance.
    The "shocker" of this situation was that my 10 percent amounted to over $215. When I asked if I could make arrangements for payment, the bottom line was … "Cash, Check, Debit and/or Charge Card" … immediately or the testing will not be done and treatment will not begin.
    When asked why didn't they notify patients that all 100 percent of the charges would have to be paid prior to being allowed access to the physician … the response was, "It started two days ago."
    So, with the assistance of my spouse, I left the physicians's office without treatment and returned home.
    I understand the economic conditions that we all are dealing with at this time  and also understand that physicians are running a business, not a free or half-price clinic, but to think that we have come to the point that the assured amount that was forthcoming from insurance is not enough — in this case it was over $1,800 — and the fact the physician would not consider billing an established and sick patient, is not only sad but displays outright greed.
    So much for the Hippocratic Oath.
    So much for excellent health insurance.
    What's in your wallet?
John Lee
Statesboro

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