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Medical Costs: Proof that Dying is Cheaper than Living

health care

As many of you know, last month I had an endoscopic ultrasound done at Parkview Regional Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The doctor also biopsied a lesion on my pancreas and nearby lymph nodes. The good news is…there was no cancer. The bad news is…they had the gall to send me a bill. Well, they haven’t really sent me a bill yet. They have billed my insurance and it looks like my bill is going to be a whopper!

Our insurance has a $3,000.00 deductible and a $6,000.00 maximum out-of-pocket. The billed cost  for the endoscopic ultrasound is $20,667.37 and this does not include any outside lab charges that have not yet been billed. If insurance knocks this down to $15,000.00, we will be over our deductible and maximum out-of-pocket. That’s good news, but the bad news is we will be over our maximum out-of-pocket, which means we will owe several medical providers $6,000.00.

Here’s screen shots from our insurance company’s website:

parkview 3
Pre-Op Blood Test Costs
parkview 2
Doctor’s charges?
Parkview Regional Hospital Charges

Polly’s employer pays over $15,000.00 a year for our family medical insurance coverage. We pay $3,120.00 in additional premiums. Before anyone gets sick or visits a doctor, over $18,000.00 is spent providing medical coverage for our family. Since the above mentioned costs will likely put us over our maximum out-of-pocket, this means our total out-of-pocket for medical insurance and medical costs in 2015 will be $9,120.00.  While we are certainly glad we have insurance, the total cost will be 25% of our gross income for 2015.

The silver lining? Hey, if we have a heart attack, get cancer, or  need a leg amputated any time before December 31st,  it is totally paid for. (that’s sarcasm in case you don’t recognize it)


I also had a CT scan, an ultrasound, and an MRI done in December 2014. These three tests cost over $4,000.00.


  1. Avatar
    Becky Wiren

    I’m not surprised. When Henry had a polyp removed from his kidney, the cost was somewhere around $33,000. However, I had taken him to IU in Indianapolis and it is a teaching hospital. SO…around $22,000 was written off. Our out of pocket was minuscule. Previously when he had gotten a stent at Parkview in Ft Wayne, we had a considerable out of pocket, about $2000.

    Have you heard that it now costs $30,000 for a woman to have a baby? That is outrageous.

  2. Avatar
    Jerri Love

    This absolutely infuriates me. I used to get nickel and dimed to death… now I am triple-digited to death. Yet, somehow I make less now than I’ve ever made.

  3. Avatar

    We don’t know we’re born in the UK and most of Europe with our totally free, though very expensive to run, national health services.

  4. Avatar
    Suzanne Titkemeyer

    I totally feels you, Bruce.. I thought I was getting off scott free for the first few months of the year for the first time in years when I got hit by that car the other day and had to have a CT Scan, Xrays and a MRI. I haven’t seen the bill yet but I’m betting even with our federal insurance it’s going to be a whopper! Luckily some hospitals will let you do a payment plan for the costs…feel better and try not to stress on the copays..

  5. Avatar
    Mary Ellen

    I will be in medical debt for the rest of my life. I barely make ends meet on SSDI, which Congress has its greedy little beady eyes on. I am not eligible for Medicaid as a secondary to Medicare. I can’t afford a Medigap policy. There are bills which will go unpaid. I do not have credit. The majority of items on my credit report the last time I took a look, were medical bills. The cat and I have to eat, and we both need to stay homed, because the pound would kill Baily(my cat) and the streets and the cops don’t care how you became homeless; they are hostile to the homeless here no matter what.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      We’ve been making monthly medical debt payments for the past decade. It never seems to go away. We’ll get it paid down and then something will happen and we are in debt again. Very frustrating.

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Bruce Gerencser