Yesterday’s mail brought yet another batch of EOBs.

I keep track of medical costs very carefully.  Whenever I encounter the medical profession, I enter the date and purpose on my little spreadsheet.  This lets me know when/who/why so that I don’t stare in puzzlement when the EOB or bill finally arrives a month or two later.  It’s very easy to tell which things have been processed by insurance and which things are still outstanding (I have been known to phone the insurance company and ask what the hold-up is if it takes them too long to pay one of my doctors).  Another benefit of keeping track is that when a bill arrives, I know whether or not the amount being charged is accurate (the lab is wrong about half the time).  Maybe someday I’ll do a whole post about my spreadsheet.  For now, the point is that I keep track.

Back to yesterday’s EOB’s:  two visits to the same doctor, same billing code (99213), same charge, different coverage:


I’m accustomed to having to fight to get insurance to cover things.  They’ve never paid extra before!

Finally I phoned.  What’s up with the waived co-pay?  If I understood correctly (and it’s entirely possible that I didn’t), doctors bill with two codes.  One of those codes has to do with how easy/complicated your condition is.  There’s an extra code related to the diagnosis.  Under my plan, I only have to pay one co-pay if two different doctors see me for the same thing on the same day.

It turns out that it’s not just convenient to schedule all my doctor’s appointments on the same day.  It can also save money!

Any tips you’d like to share for saving money on medical costs?

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