Back in December, I blogged about how horrible I was at being a grown-up. I hadn't been to the doctor (regular and lady doctor) or the dentist in about two years. After learning that I needed a root canal due to my lack of regular check-ups, I shaped up.
I shaped up and I learned a few things.
If I could go back and do it all over again I would have made doctor's appointments the same day I got new insurance at my job. One of the reasons I never made doctor's or dentist's appointments in the first place was because it was so overwhelming. How many doctors are in Manhattan? How do you find a good one? One that takes your insurance? That's close to your office so you can go at lunch? You ask your coworkers, that's how you find the right one. When I finally told one of my coworkers how bad I was at being a grown up, she hooked me up with all of her doctor's names and contact information.
My root canal involved several visits to the dentist. Therefore it included paying the dentist's office each time and then receiving several bills later. But wait, they weren't bills. They were explanation of benefits (EOB) notices. This is when I had to call my mother. She explained to me that an EOB outlines how much your insurance pays for a procedure or visit and how much you, the patient, are required to pay.
"Mom," I said. "It says here that I only had to pay $250 for the root canal but I paid $380."
My mom further explained how important it is to review every EOB. She told me that doctors and dentists will often overcharge patients because so many do not review their EOB and the amount of money they receive from insurance companies is not as much as one would think. I was furious. I felt taken advantage of. I was a sweet, little 20-something who hadn't been to the dentist in ages and they knew I had no idea what I was doing.
All I had to do, she said, was call the dentist and tell them I was overcharged. I called and the immediately said it was a "mistake" and the amount would be credited to my next visit.
This is one of them many things I wish they would teach you in college.