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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Hospital Bills and Deductibles

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Question: I have to have a breast lump removed because my doctor is not sure if its cancerous or not. I tried to schedule the surgery but the hospital wanted my deductible up front. I was shocked. Do I have bad insurance?

Answer: I can't comment on the quality of your insurance plan and it so happens that your particular experience has nothing to do with your insurance plan and everything to do with the hospital. If you are about to have a relatively expensive procedure it makes sense that the hospital would want to know that you will be able to pay your bill. Many hospitals are taking this approach nowadays as a matter of financial security. There are still many hospitals that will not require that you pay your deductible upfront, however. Oftentimes you can work out a payment schedule with the hospital that will fit your budget if this is an issue for you. To arrange this you should talk with the hospital billing department. I have found that they are almost always amenable. Best of luck!

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