Just wondering, i am trying to get to a cardiologist without having insurance which is expensive just to see one, but my question is on average how much does these 24 or 48 hour holter monitor cost? I just feel as if i am screwed because of no insurance and i dont make much money so its very hard just to get to the doctor. Been feeling these palps off and on now for almost 2 weeks.
I don't have a number, but believe it is expensive, but then what does it cost if you blow a transmission in your car?
You may be able to minimize your cost through a clinic or other walk-in medical service. I don't know if a clinic will quote you a price, it seems they should to me.
If your income is low or you are out-of-work Medicaid or other government support may be available to help.
I assume from what you have said, you have already been checked by a primary care doctor (they usually cost less than a specialist, especially if service is offered in a clinic or similar). I have had health insurance for so long I don't have any current experience with buying medical service directly, but admit my wife had our first child when we didn't have health insurance. We managed to pay the cost. The big issue I am aware of is the cost that an insurance (or Medicare/Medicaid for government provided) company negotiates with "in-network" providers is much lower than the "list price". It may be that some clinics charge closer to the negotiated rate for walk-in patients. This you will have to determine on you own, the web should be of some help.
call your doc, tell them your situation. They might be able to come up with a solution. ECG holters are not cheap. IMHO I think they should be cheap, there's not much to them. The prices are finally coming down with some new and innovative competition from the smart phone market. US healthcare economics ***** monkey balls, just my humble opinion. :-)
Anyways, there's options though. Call up the doc, they may be able to work with you. Also, you might be able to get medicaid. If you're under 26 you could see about getting on your parents' insurance.
We have always been warned that when we travel to USA, we need to remember this:
1. Don't get sick.
2. If you do something stupid like getting sick, don't go to a hospital unless you absolutely have to.
3. If you are so stupid that you absolutely have to go to a hospital, you need a good travel insurance with 24 hour service, as doctors demand payment before they even start to treat you.
4. Never sign anything or pay anything yourself. The insurance company has people employed that are experts in arguing with the hospitals.
5. Never ever go to public hospitals (that's a problem for us to remember because all hospitals are public here..)
There are stories about people paying $100.000 for a visit to the emergency room, but I'm not sure if they are true.
It's also important to never tell jokes to security staff at the airports.
I have to say, I love USA and can't wait to go back there, but all the warnings almost scare me..
I'm not looking to hijack this thread. But I wanted to address a couple of your questions.
The idea of avoiding public hospitals is rubbish. You avoid some! As a "local", you know which ones to avoid. Fortunately, US cities that would be on a typical foreign tourist's list, have a large number to choose from.
My current insurance plan includes a $100 (US) out of pocket co-pay if I visit any hospital ER.
I pay $20 to see my PCP (primary care physician). I cannot see a specialist without his written authorization. The specialist's co-pay is $30. DIagnostic and labs are covered 100%.
My recent albation ran $76,000. All but $250 for the hospital and $30 for the EP was covered by insurance. My wife's recent colonoscopy cost about $2,000. Again my out of pocket cost was $250. That's the way my (Health Maintenance, or HMO) insurance works. But it varies greatly from plan to plan.
In 2012, my firm's health insurance will undergo massive changes due to the out-of-control costs. These changes are apparently sweeping theUS health insurance plans. Physicians and Hospitals are being broken down into a number of tiers. The tier is (supposedly) based on the cost of healthcare from the providers. As an example, a routine visit to my physician for an illness will cost me $20,$35, or $50 depending on which tier they fall into based on my insurance company. Hospital day surgeries will run $250, $750, or $1500 depending on the tier classification of the hospital. It is hoped that a patient will choose a physician and hospital that is in a lower tier and thus save costs. I assume that when a tier 3 hospital sees a lot of its business going to a tier 1 or 2 hospital, it will take measures to streamline it's cost of operating. Again it is being stressed to us that the tier system has nothing to do swith the quality of case. Unfortunately I live in rural area of Massachusetts. Every single provider and hospital are tier 3, the most costly. Why is my little country hospital (which I love) would have such high operating expenses? I suspect it's due to the fact that every physician and hospital are affiliated with UMass Hospital system, the big teaching hospital in the state which is also a tier 3 provider.
So the typical insured US citizen is going to experience some price shock in the next few years. It's the only way their employers are able to afford to insure them. If I went out and purchased my own insurance, it would run approximately $800 to over $1000 per month for just me and my wife. Imagine what it would run a family of five?! Despite the costs, I believe that the US offers the best and timely healthcare in the world. My 7y/o granddaughter smacked her head this past week on the the school's monkey bars. She was seen by an ER within 1 hour of the accident was in and out ouf a CAT scan within 2 hours ont he accident. I hear of extreme wait times and waiting lists in other countries for diagnostic testing and emergency care. THis past Monday, I made an appointment for my colonoscopy only 11 working days from now. I I chose the date and time. So the high cost of US healthcare does come with its rewards.
So, don't worry about visiting us. We would love to have you come. If needed, you WILL receive the best healthcare bar none. It's just going to cost you a lttle! ;-) ;-)
There's a plan that Itdood told me about quite awhile ago that I looked into because the gov't certainly doesn't advertise it or put any effort into letting patients know about.
The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan pcip.gov or healthcare.gov has gone through enormous changes since it started. Rates were cut by 40% in July 2011 making it more affordable for anyone with a pre-existing condition.
There are some states that do not participate in the plan, so you have to look into each state. Eligibility is for anyone with a pre-exisiting condition, no insurance for the past 6 months and a letter from your dr stating you have whatever named condition or be turned down by individual insurance.
Here's an example: I had private health insurance through my employer back in 2009. We paid $809 per month for a family of 4 with a $3,000 deductible and a 20% co-insurance. I had my ablation, major complications and stayed in the hospital for 5 days. Total cost including an ICD was almost $300,000; since I had almost paid my $3k deductible and at my yearly limit; I paid $200 and nothing more.
However, after I got out of the hospital, they jacked my rates up by 33% the next month to almost $1100 monthly and stuck a rider on my plan about not covering heart problems; legal by the old healthcare laws.
I went almost a year w/o insurance and found out about the PCIP which is a precursor to the 2014 plans. Back then you had to apply and be turned down for another insurance to be eligible for it (I did Humana One); after July 2011 you just have to have a letter from your dr stating you have a pre-existing condition and you are eligible.
I've been on the plan almost a year and have found nothing that they do not cover; but the dr's who accept the plan are a bit limited and some of my ANS meds aren't covered. Every other med has been $4 compared to $50 for brand names on my private plan. I don't have to have a referral to dr's, but procedures and surgery does have to be approved - they even cover things like bariatric surgery which is really uncommon.
At age 44; I pay $211 monthly, $2,000 deductible yearly max $7,500; 20% co-insurance with a $500 pharmacy deductible.
Very affordable considering my last cardiologist visit with Echo & workup was around $1,500 yet I paid nothing but my $25 specialist fee. I went to the ER back in June after fainting with a concussion, contusion and sprained neck; they did a ton of tests and all I paid was $100 ER Fee.
I do know that Cleveland Clinic does have financial assistance for some patients on a sliding scale based on income and Mayo or one of the other large clinics may also; it's worth a shot to call and ask.
Hello, and thanks for your detailed and very interesting answer! :)
What's somewhat interesting is the cost of medical procedures. For an ablation, the hospital (in my country) estimates a cost of approx $12.500 (and even at that amount, the government has EXTREMELY strict policies on who need an ablation). The rules are:
- Tachyarrhythmias (ventricular or supraventricular) causing fainting, that do NOT respond properly to medical treatment.
- Ventricular arrhythmias causing hemodynamic collapse.
- WPW when the extra pathway can produce heart rates above 250. Note: WPW is NOT an indication for ablation otherwise
- SVT that occur more than 2-3 times/week that do not respond to medical therapy.
Also, GP's can NOT refer anyone to an EP study or ablation. Referral must be done by a cardiologist, if the GP can't document the arrhythmia on EKG which must be attached.
Waiting lists for an EP study is 2-3 years, by the way, unless someone is resucitated (if so, you can get referred as emergency).
Our private healthcare is good, but they only do screening and small procedures. Interestingly enough, my dad had colonoscopy done earlier this month in a private "hospital" (profit generating) but the cost was only $500.
It seems, for myself, I would feel greatly better with your healthcare system, but I'm somewhat lucky (with a yearly income about $200.000 at a fairly young age). So I guess this is quite a political discussion, really. What I can see though, is that it seems US hospitals charge a lot for their services (referring to the $76.000 vs 12.500 and $2.000 vs 500).
OK then, see you all next summer :) I'm looking forward to it!
I had to get a 24 hour monitor when I didn't have insurance, and I got billed 2 grand for it. still haven't paid it because I don't have the means to pay it. I was also seeing my cardio for nothing because I had no money at all so he was charging me the bare minimum, I don't know how much that was, but I only paid him like 5 bucks in 3 years of seeing him. Try to talk to your dr, me might be nice enough to help you out any way they can.
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