Texas residents have struggled with a serious, even deadly, flu season in 2017-2018. Sometimes, when an illness like the flu strikes unexpectedly, patients don’t have the luxury of scheduling an appointment with their primary care provider. They need to be seen and treated at the nearest possible facility, perhaps even an emergency room.
Unfortunately, far too many find out later that they received treatment at a hospital or clinic that was “out of network” as far as their health insurance is concerned. While “in network” providers have arrangements with insurance companies regarding their rates, out-of-network providers bill the patient for the lion’s share of the costs of treatment. It’s especially painful for those whose deductibles reset on the first of the year and must be met all over again before insurance starts making payments on their behalf.
The situation with in-network and out-of-network providers becomes even more problematic when a patient goes to an in-network emergency room only to be seen by an out-of-network doctor. One might plan to undergo surgery at an in-network hospital, only to have an out-of-network anesthesiologist in attendance. Even ambulance companies may be in-network or out-of-network – hardly a distinction one can afford to make when calling 911.
When Tyler residents find themselves burdened with thousands and thousands of dollars in medical expenses, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help. These may be sums that no one could pay back in a lifetime. Working with a legal professional can help eliminate debt and protect certain assets while providing residents with a fresh financial start.
Source: Pharos-Tribune, “A surprise no one wants: Big medical bill even with coverage,” Tom Murphy, Feb, 17, 2018