Not only are ER costs from a different pricing universe and clearly a “starter kit” for bankruptcy, surprise, surprise, there is no oversight regarding what the ER can charge. Yes, the insurance carriers can set “their” limits on what they will pay, but you as the patient, will have to deal with the total cost. One glaring example from the article is that a hospital in Tennessee charge $1.00 for a Tylenol tablet while another hospital in Seattle charge $76.00. Yes, $76.00. But this is only one of three nasty trapdoors that await you in the ER.
Two is that as “in network” ERs may be staffed by “not in network” doctors. You know what that means. Major bills despite the fact you have “coverage.”
Three, and this gets nastier, your visit to an “in network” ER could be assessed by your insurance carrier as “not a true emergency” and your claim denied. Wait! What? Case on in point: a 64 years old female with a history of post-surgical adhesions of the small bowel was seen in the ER for what turned out to be a partial bowel obstruction…Claim denied said her carrier…She did not need to be hospitalized they said…Really? That’s not what the gastric surgeon said in his report.
Bottom Line: Choose your ER visits wisely…