This post is about women's health so if that doesn't interest you feel free to stop reading...
Recently I had my annual exam and pap smear. This was actually the first time I've ever gone to a private OBGYN practice to have this performed as previously I went to my regular family doctor, the college health center and most recently my local Planned Parenthood. I liked the Planned Parenthood, especially when I didn't have "real" health insurance during law school and it is in walking distance from where I've lived the past 6 years. But I figured it was about time I established a relationship with a local practice because one day I may need care that's more than "preventative" if you catch my drift.
The appointment was fine (as fine as any half hour of your life in which you are prodded in such a personal way) and I paid a $20 co-pay when I left. Today I received a bill in the mail for an additional $10 for charges not covered by my insurance. The statement itself was enlightening.
My doctor's office attempted to bill $210 for the visit alone, of which I paid $20 and the insurance company "adjusted" payment was $56.
The pap smear is billed at $35, of which my insurance paid $27 and I am liable for $8.
The lab work is billed at $9, of which my insurance paid $7 and I am liable for $2.
Total charges = $254
Total paid by insurance = $90
Total paid by me = $30
Damn. Last year at Planned Parenthood, $35 got me my annual and six months of birth control pills. No wonder insurance companies are looking to do away with the annual exam.