Why your health insurer doesn't care about your big bills
Michael Frank ran his finger down his medical bill, studying the charges and pausing in disbelief. The numbers didn't make sense.
His recovery from a partial hip replacement had been difficult. He'd iced and elevated his leg for weeks. He'd pushed his 49-year-old body, limping and wincing, through more than a dozen physical therapy sessions.
The last thing he needed was a botched bill.
His December 2015 surgery to replace the ball in his left hip joint at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City had been routine. One night in the hospital and no complications.
He was even supposed to get a deal on the cost. His insurance company, Aetna, had negotiated an in-network "member rate" for him. That's the discounted price insured patients get in return for paying their premiums every month.