Beware of early hospital payments

I am writing to let patients at local hospitals be aware of unnecessary payments. Recently, my mother was hospitalized for five days. On the day of her discharge she was sent a hand-typed letter saying they had contacted the insurance company and she owed money for a co-payment for the day she was admitted. After checking with the insurance company, we found that this co-payment was for the total hospital stay, but we should wait to see how much was covered by her Medicare insurance.

After requesting and receiving an itemized bill, we hesitated making any payments until we received the notice of what the insurance covered. After several weeks, we now have the insurance statement which shows the bill was paid in full and that we owed nothing. If we had acted immediately, we would have overpaid.

We also have learned of several other people who have experienced this same procedure when their insurance paid in full. So, I say, "Patients, beware."

Allow your insurance to settle with the hospital before you write your check.

— Jenile A. Seelman,

8661 Chaminade Road, Marcy