Did I just beat the HealthCare system?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by MarkHastings, May 11, 2005.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone, but I just realized that I've been saving $5 every time I go to the Dr.s

    I know it's only $5, but still...When I got my insurance, I had to chose a Primary Care Dr., I chose one that works at the Walk-In center. I did this because I had been to that place before and I didn't want to find a new Dr., but I never realized the money saving technique I just stumbled upon.

    My insurance has a $20 co-pay for Primary Care visits, but there is a $25 co-pay for Walk-In visits. Since my primary care Dr. is at the Walk-In, I only pay $20 at the Walk-In.

    Now obviously it only applies to that particualr Walk-In, but still. [​IMG]
     
  2. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    Don't forget us little people when you're rich and famous.
     
  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Homer: In Canada, they have free health care.
    (Homer gets hit by a car and flys in the air.)
    Homer: I'm rich!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    Did anyone see that episode of Shapelles(sp?) Show where if he was elected everyone would get fake Canadian I.D. cards? That was his way to solve health care issues. [​IMG] LOL!
     
  5. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Canadian health care hasn't been free for a long, long time.
     
  6. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I guess it does seem a bit 'theoretical'...But the deal is, I get the convenience of a "Walk-in" visit, yet only pay the lower "Primary Care" fee. If my primary care was somewhere else, I'd have to pay the higher fee (at the walk-in center).

    The only downside is, I have to go there all the time, since it is my Primary care, but it's not that big of a deal. The wait is never that long.

    This all came about because a co-worker was complaining how hard it is to schedule a visit with her primary Dr. since that Dr. is partially retired. I said "Why not just go to a Walk-in?" and she said "because it's $25 instead of $20" - It was then that I realized I was only paying $20 at the Walk-in, due to Primary being there.

    p.s. She is now considering switching Dr.'s to a Walk-in center. [​IMG]
     
  8. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    You mean to say that your co-worker needs to see a Doctor and is balking that it's five bucks more at the one that's available and that's a problem????? Sheeze....what would she do if she had to pay the premium...die?

    Mort (who believes that even a free lunch ain't free if somebody had to pay)[​IMG]
     
  9. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    to some people $5 is a lot...just look at some of the DVD threads where people will kill their best friend to save $5 on a new DVD. [​IMG]
     
  10. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

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    Your co-worker's real problem is that her doctor is not very available. She could always find a regular doctor who has more openings. Many doctors will also accept a certain # of walk-ins per day.
     
  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Yeah, she was definitely considering switching docs because of this. After learning that she could save $5 by choosing a walk-in Dr., she is now considering this option.
     
  12. Michelle Schmid

    Michelle Schmid Stunt Coordinator

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    If she normally makes appointments (like most of us do), she isn't going to save anything. $20 for a PCP visit is going to be the same no matter where she goes.

    However, if she normally requires urgent/immediate, or after hours care (what walk-in clinics are usually for), and because her PCP happens to be in that clinic they charge her less, THEN she'd be saving money.

    I think Marc nailed it. Her problem isn't the cost of the visit, it's that she can't get in to her regular doc due to his limited schedule. If she switches docs to one that is not semi-retired she would probably be able to be seen in a much more timely manner. I've used urgent care a whopping two times in all the years I've had insurance, one time each for my kids, and one of those completely unnecessary because the school freaked out over nothing and insisted she be seen NOW. With two hours to closing our PCP had nothing available, but could have gotten her in the next day. Too bad the school wouldn't let her come back until she'd been seen.

    (Do they really only charge you the $20 for a PCP visit when you walk in and see a doctor that is not your primary? I should think you'd save money if you lucked out and your doc was on that day, but on his day off? What about when you're seen by a different doc even when yours is there, but busy? It would be a true walk-in at that point--wouldn't they charge you as such?)
     
  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    As long as it's in the same practice as your primary, I would assume it's all the same price.
     
  14. Michelle Schmid

    Michelle Schmid Stunt Coordinator

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    For most offices it is--as long as the docs call-share you can usually see anyone available. However, because you aren't seeing a doctor at a "practice," specifically you are going to a walk-in clinic--which for some reason your insurance has deliberately designated a different co-pay--I'm surprised they don't make you pay the full $25.00 when you walk in and your PCP isn't available.

    As an example, my boyfriend once went to the urgent care here and saw a "specialist" who happened to be on call that day. They actually had the nerve to collect a $30 specialist co-pay from him (!) (according to them, he was seeing a specialist so he had to pay for that), instead of the $15 urgent care co-pay our insurance requires. Obviously, I made him protest and they did end up refunding the overpayment.
     
  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I hardly EVER see my Primary Dr. when I got to the Walk-In. I always see this other Dr. and never pay more than the $20 "Primary" fee.
     
  16. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    Does your insurance pick up 100% of the bill after the co-pay or only about 80% as is typical?

    If your insurance doesn't pay 100% after the co-pay, you are making the assumption that the cost of services at the PCP and Walk-in are the same.

    If the charges for the services you typically utilize are higher at the Walk-in than at a regular PCP you may not be saving anything.
     

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