Today I received a very vague, pacifying response from George, the insurance broker, who spoke with St. Barnabas and my insurance company. Apparently, since I was the unruly customer who questioned her bill, my bill is being “resubmitted” and “re-evaluated”, a process which should take “2 weeks”. Why it would take 2 weeks I have no idea, unless that’s how long it takes to cover up fraud. But whatever.
Here’s a copy of his response:
I called and discussed your case with both Anthem and Barnabas Health. After initially ensuring me that everything was fine, they looked deeper into how everything was billed and Barnabas is resubmitting it for consideration to their account review team. Juggling insurance math can be confusing but it looks to me (I cannot vouch for what comes back from the carrier) like they initially added the $331, when it should have been subtracted out.
They are re-evaluating. During this period your account will not be sent to collections and they indicated that we can check back in approximately 2 weeks to see the status of the claim is.
Thanks for your patience… hopefully we can knock $331 off the billed amount.
My favorite part: “Juggling insurance math can be confusing…” WHAT??? Juggling insurance math shouldn’t be confusing. It should be “Here’s the (reasonable) bill for services rendered. This line item here is what insurance covered. This part here is what you owe.” And that part shouldn’t put me into the hospital for a heart attack at what it’s going to cost me to have my kid’s ruptured ear drum checked out.
I’m thinking it gets confusing when you’re trying to do something you shouldn’t be doing, get caught, and then have to try and back pedal to explain it away. I’m thinking maybe it was St. Barnabas who tried to pull a fast one here, but still don’t think the insurance company is off the hook yet.
This whole thing is really fishy. Not only do I want this removed from my bill, but I want an explanation of what they were trying to pull here. Because it’s flat out wrong. And all I can think of is how many times they have done this before — to me and to others — and how many people they’ll do it to again.