I often wonder how many people just go ahead and pay whatever they're told they owe for a 'procedure' without looking into it (and how often the insurance companies just keep it!)
My mother got that way after a while.
At first she was diligent, but after years of my father's disability I think she got overwhelmed and worn down.
So she handed all the paperwork over to me to deal with.
At one point it was so convoluted and there was SO MUCH OF IT I took it to work and used the fifteen foot long conference table to try and bring it into some semblance of order.
I laid out all the bills from the hospitals grouped by procedure. Then I matched the Medicare statements to each pile and the supplemental insurance statements and then, last but not least, the corresponding doctors bills.
Then I organized each pile into chronological order hoping this would end up telling me what the balance was.
I found most of the time the doctors usually 'forgave' the balance owed if it was under a few hundred dollars.
I thought that was pretty nice of them considering the insurance company had paid them THOUSANDS (and sometimes HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, in the case of my father's brain surgery.)
I mean what’s $120 when you’ve already collected $158,000 right?
So I was shocked when, once all the dust had settled and things were organized, one doctor kept sending a bill for $0.56!
YUP, fifty six cents!
I waited a few months before I finally called the billing department. I assumed they would forgive this miniscule amount as the others had, but nooooooo.
I was flabbergasted! And just a little pissed off.
I couldn't bring myself to write a check. It was just too ridiculous! It was going to cost more to write a check and put a stamp on the envelope than the amount we owed (a point which fell on deaf ears in the billing department.)
So, just to make myself feel better (and because I can be a bit of an ass sometimes,) I took two quarters, a nickel and a penny, glued them to the statement, folded it very neatly, placed it carefully into the envelope addressed to the doctor, without a return address and mailed it-------sans stamp.
Vengeance can be very therapeutic!
We never heard from him again.