I’d like to bring this to the attention of those 65-plus on Medicare.

A friend went to his primary care doctor for his preventative medical checkup.

Three months later, his insurer notified him, through his monthly account update, that he was charged for two visits: an established care preventative visit ($186.75) and a wellness visit ($341.75).

Now these were paid in full, and that’s not the issue – it’s that at no time was he told this would become a visit that encompasses $528.50 for a 30-minute checkup. That is simply wrong.

Primary care practices are aware Medicare will pay this so they just “add it on.” That’s unconscionable.

I urge seniors who care about the cost of health care for all to clarify – before they see their doctor – exactly what kind of visit they have: a checkup or wellness. A wellness visit means they do not do any sort of exam, just ask questions. Consumers need to ask questions, and providers need to provide information on this before a visit.

In addition, he was offered a TDAP vaccination, basically a tetanus update.

His update from the insurer provided these details: $210 for the vaccine, $37 for the treatment room (the same room his exam was in) and a $23.25 fee for the person who gave him the injection (the same nurse who did his vitals).

All denied. None of this was paid because it was done in a doctor’s office. If the shot had been given at a pharmacy, it would have been paid in full under Medicare Part D. Did you know that?

It’s incumbent on doctor’s offices to make their charges more transparent.

What other business is there that you “buy” something and have no idea the price until you receive the bill three months later?

Time to make some seismic changes in health care delivery.

Pamela Smith

North Yarmouth

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.