Question – How Does My Bill Factor into Healthcare Spending Totals?
$2.5 trillion dollars a year. 17.6% of the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP). [source, 2009 data]
These are big numbers that get thrown around a lot in the discussion of healthcare costs and healthcare reform. I stopped to think about my personal impact on these numbers after receiving a bill the other day and I can't sort it out… so maybe my LeanBlog readers can help (or refer me to a specialist who can!).
I received a billing statement the other day where the top-line price, or “fee,” was $900.
I have some problems with my neck (ironic, since some might consider ME a pain in the neck), so I received a steroid injection that's done in an outpatient surgery setting.
The fee for the injection and the fluoroscopic guidance was $900 total.
The next line lists the “Disallowed Adjustment” from my insurance provider = ($716.12)
I assume this is a negotiated rate between insurer and provider. This brought the “cost” down to $183.88.
My out of pocket cost was $27.59 (beyond what my wife and I already pay for insurance).
So here's my question: what's my contribution, then, to this $2.5 trillion national figure?
Does my health care contribute:
- $900 toward the $2.5T national figure?
- $183.88 toward the figure?
Let's say I didn't have insurance and I received a $900 bill that I paid out of pocket — what would be the contribution to “healthcare spending?” I assume that would be the full $900.
What if I were a deadbeat and didn't pay that full $900 out of pocket and the healthcare provider took a write off on the charge?
Can somebody please shed some light on this?