My primary insurance is Tri-Care (a/k/a/ what the military folks have). My secondary insurance is my checkbook – my choice because I’m healthy. I have had wonderful health care coverage, and while Tri-care basically pays physicians/hospitals on about the same schedule as Medicare, many doctors are no longer accepting Medicare patients, but they WILL take Tri-care. I pay the bill up front, the doc bills Tri-care, and then the doc reimburses me any overage. That’s cool with me.
I go to an ophthalmologist for my eye exams. My doctor, in addition to being an ophthalmologist is also a plastic surgeon. About a year ago, I got a tiny cyst beside my eye, just at the tip of my brow. It wasn’t a worry, he said, but we would watch it. As time passed, it grew from about the size of a BB to the size of a pencil eraser, and it was really uncomfortable to sleep with that side of my face on the pillow. The doctor said there was a 99% chance that there was no pathology but he said it needed to be removed, and I agreed. He sent in a pre-approval to Tri-care. They denied it – in their opinion it was cosmetic.
My doctor said pffffttttttt – it needs to come out. He offered to do this procedure for me as a cash customer and he would charge me what Medicare would pay him. I agreed.
I had the procedure in his office. A shot to numb the site (HOLY F***‼!), a slit with a scalpel, some creative carving here and there, followed by 5 stitches. The stitches were so tiny they looked like tiny pieces of pepper. He sent the ‘tumor’ off for testing and it was benign, as he was sure it would be. Today I can find no trace of the scar.
Before I tell you the cost of my ‘surgery’….. bear in mind....this man had 4 years of college, one year of internship, three years residency in ophthalmology, and three years residency in ocular plastic surgery. Eleven years of schooling. He’s about 45 now I would guess. He is obviously in medical practice because he loves his profession, because the bill for my procedure was $235.00 That’s what Medicare would have paid him. $235 ‼!
Now I ask you. Would YOU recommend your child go into medical practice today?