Over the past year I had my first experience with health care billing issues other than just paying my monthly bill. Something happened billing-wise recently that concerns me. I'd like to get feedback from the community as it's a potentially important issue.
I had a sports injury about a year ago. I went to the nearest hospital as I needed treatment ASAP. This hospital was out-of-network but my insurance would still cover the costs. Turns out the costs were relatively low (only a few grand). This fell under my yearly deductable so I paid out-of-pocket. To be honest I expected worse and did receive decent treatment so I just put the incident behind me.
Recently I recevied another bill for about a grand from the out-of-network hospital. This was a surprise as I immediately paid off my bills almost a year ago after the injury. I called my insurance and they said the total is still under my deductable so I need to pay it. Fine.
Here's my concern: can the out-of-network hospital and my insurance company stagger/delay the bills such that each year I'm technically under the yearly deductable?
Imagine another scenario where the out-of-network hospital says I owe 20 grand for a serious injury. If I'm billed all at once then I pay my deductable of, say, three grand and then the insurance pays the rest. However if I'm billed for two grand a year for ten years then I could potentially have to pay the entire 20 grand myself.