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News, Even With Insurance, Hospital Stay Can Cost a Million.

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Soaring health costs are burdening many Americans with massive medical bills, and a few, like Jim Dawson, are left with a million-dollar tab — even though they have health insurance, the WSJ reports.


Part of the problem is that insurance caps — the maximum amount of a patient’s medical bill insurers will pay — haven’t been keeping pace with rising costs. The story says the average cap is $1 million per person, the same as it was in the 1970s.


Dawson’s cap was $1.5 million but after a staph infection spread throughout his body, he was still stuck with a $1.2 million bill from California Pacific Medical Center. He and was wife were outraged to learn about the hospital’s marking up of items.


“For instance, CPMC charged Mr. Dawson $791 for stockings designed to improve blood circulation,” the story says. “The same pair can be purchased on the Internet for as little as $12.”


Even more perplexing was the fact the Dawsons were told it would cost $1,030 just to get an itemized copy of Jim Dawson’s bill. The medical center was nice enough to send a letter — free of charge — seeking donations to the hospital.


Dawson’s story does have a happy ending, sort of. After the hospital was contacted by the WSJ, CPMC called the Dawsons to say they qualified for financial assistance under the hospital’s charity-care policy and wrote off his entire bill.


Health Blog : Even With Insurance, Hospital Stay Can Cost a Million

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