Injured Iowa Workers Have Only One Choice – UnionizeSteveL
Iowa Medical Debt is a Dead-End Street
Some call it the medical billing system the Medical Mafia, but most working people know it as the never-ending debt cycle.
Here is how it works. Hospitals and clinics see you then bill your insurance. You get a bill, which you cannot understand and the only way to know what they want you to pay, is to call the number on the bill. If you call you will get a person on the phone who has no records and cannot answer any of your questions about the services rendered. They will parrot what they have been told to tell you. “I’m sorry, but I cannot provide that information because of HIPAA regulations.” The script is intended to make you give up and simply pay the bill without questioning the amount.
The Medical-Bill Debt Cycle for The Working Stiff
After you receive treatment, your health insurer will send you an EOG, otherwise known as an Explanation of Benefits form. Notice “form” is something you see a lot of in the medical business. You will not understand the EOG any better than you understand the medical bill. It could be worse. Just keep reading.
Stop Complaining to the Legal Community, Call Your Iowa Legislators
If you were unlucky enough to have been injured on the job, then your medical is supposed to be paid by the workers’ compensation insurer. Of course, you did not authorize the medical treatment because to the company doctor you are not the customer. The workers’ compensation insurer and its third-party administrator is the doctor’s customer because it is the claims department who selects which doctors, clinics and hospitals are authorized to see and maybe treat the injured workers. Of course, if the insurer stops paying or never pays, you get stuck paying the bill – even though you did not order the services, pick the doctors or control the services.
The Iowa Legislature Doesn’t Care If You Owe Medical Bills
With work injuries the system is worse than being shaken down by the Mob. Absolutely T-H-E worst. In Iowa the workers’ compensation program is designed to make you never want to report any injuries as work related. It is a program the Iowa Legislature designed to benefit employers, not injured workers.
If you want to know how bad it can get consider the Colorado case of Lisa French vs Centura Health.
“The case pits attorneys for patient Lisa French against Centura Health, which operates the nonprofit hospital in Westminster. The dispute centers on a contract French signed in which she agreed to pay “all charges of the hospital” for her care.
Of the $303,709 bill, French paid $1,000; her insurance paid about $74,000, and the remaining balance of $228,000 was disputed.”
And if you get stuck with a bill, you will never find a lawyer willing to help you sue the insurer, because lawyers cannot get paid to help you. That’s because you cannot afford to pay the lawyer by the hour and the law doesn’t permit it otherwise. The law of Chapter 85 is designed to place all the decision-making power in the hands of people you do not know and to who you are just a number. Just one more fish file.
Workers in Iowa have but one choice, unionize.