I spent the entire morning on the phone with Kaiser, the Department of Managed Care, and even ehealthinsurance who originally sold me my health care policy, in an attempt to unravel the impossibly tangled and complicated web that is my labor & delivery bill, which I believe is incorrect. And, you know what? There may be no fixing this. I may just have to give up and recognize that yes, I was probably overcharged by several thousand dollars, and there may be nothing I can do about it.
The Department of Managed Care has closed my case. All they did was send it twice to Kaiser to review, and they of course defended their position, and so the DMC has washed their hands of it. Huh? I called them up and said, so, you just take Kaiser's word for it that I was billed correctly and that's it? It made no sense. I had a long conversation with a woman who seemed somewhat sympathetic (especially to this issue of B incurring all his own charges from the minute he was born, which everyone tells me is not correct); it turns out they may have made a mistake in closing my case, so she said when I get the letter that confirms it's closed to call them up and ask to speak to a specific person. But even then there's not much I can do but take Kaiser to arbitration (because of course I signed away my right to sue when I took on this policy).
Then there's the issue of that $600 bill I got handed back in January for birth charges that at the time they said they covered, but they have now a year later decided they're not covering. Of course Kaiser has denied my complaint with the standard "read your policy, you owe us" letter. What do I do about that? I finally broke down and paid it today because I don't want my credit ruined. But it's already two weeks late so honestly my credit may be dinged anyway.
I just wish there were somewhere to go, someone to help, someone to sit and talk over all of this with who can just HELP ME. But there isn't. I've asked around and nobody has a clue how to find a lawyer who handles things like this - not even lawyer friends of mine. And honestly - I'm not even sure I'm right about any of this. It sounds right, but the language in my policy is so vague; they say "some" maternity charges are covered but some aren't; they say B is "covered" for the first 30 days, but it doesn't say he's "covered under your policy" as in subject to my deductible. I just don't understand how I can have a $1500 deductible and a $3500 out of pocket maximum per year, and yet last year I was charged between $6000 and $7000 for the birth. How can this be? Can someone explain this to me? Does this mean if I ever have an accident or major illness I can just be charged hundreds of thousands of dollars because the care isn't subject to my deductible? If that's the case why bother having insurance?
Anyway all of this stuff makes me so crazy and angry and frustrated that I can hardly stand it. And at a certain point I had to ask myself, what's the point of all this? Why not just drop it and have my sanity back? It's all paid for. I spent this whole day with my stomach in knots and full of rage. Maybe sometimes you just have to walk away.
It reminds me of when I was sued that time - the same frustration, the same rage, the same feeling of knowing I was right. But unfortunately I couldn't walk away from that since I was the one being sued, not doing the suing. And that was two years of torture that I'll never get back. But this - I can just walk away. There won't be another birth so I'll never, ever have to deal with this situation ever again.
One thing I will tell people in the future about Kaiser, though, is that your insurance doesn't really cover anything. So just act as if you have no out of pocket maximum because obviously you can be charged anything, and even years later have bills pop up for items that were covered at the time but now aren't. Just enjoy the free vaccinations. Oh yeah, and I'm still waiting for the bill from our whole ER adventure, and subsequent mole removal. I can't even imagine how many thousands that's going to cost me. God I hate them.