The paper trail from a simple doctor’s visit can be so labyrinthine that some people simply wait for an envelope from a collection agency before cutting a check
“The sequence of events goes something like this: You go to the doctor, pay the $10 or $20 co-pay on your way out, and shove the carbon copy receipt into the bottom of your purse or pocket. Later, you get an envelope with a piece of paper in it that says, “This is not a bill.” It mentions that a bill is coming, but this isn’t it, so you ignore it. Ditto for the second non-bill that says — seemingly– the exact same thing. Then a bill shows up that says that you don’t have to pay it yet because the insurance company might pay some or all of it. Next, the “explanation of benefits” bill that says “this actually is a bill” arrives, and you ignore it, too, because, well, maybe they’re kidding. Once the sixth or seventh envelope arrives, you figure it might be time to pay the bill (or send a “This is not a payment” payment just to be cheeky).
Repeat this cycle for every lab test, radiologist report, dermatological exam, and nurse practitioner appointment, and it’s no wonder you have no idea what you’re shelling out to keep your brood healthy.”