CHBA/Discount medical insurance / The
I injured my back in 2003. Unable to work and on Work comp, I couldn't afford cobra through my employer. I needed some form of regular medical insurance so I started shopping around. Due to the fact that I was on work comp and had an open claim nobody would insure me. I was online one day and happened across the CHBA website. It sounded like something right up my alley. I spoke with a young lady in the member services department about the discount program. She informed me, I could see any Dr or visit any Hospital and would receive some sort of discount. I had been a member of CHBA for a year when I started getting very bad headaches. I called member services at CHBA and informed them I'd need to see a Dr for this issue. They assigned a young lady named angel to my case and Angel insisted I see a Dr. I informed Angel I had my own Dr's at Mercy medical foundation and she said, " go see the Dr and send us (CHBA) the bill and we will discount the office visit or visits. I assumed everything would be handled so I went to the Dr. The Dr referred me to a neurologist because my headaches seemed abnormal. At time of visit I paid the bill and then faxed the bill to CHBA. Angel informed me she had received the fax and requested that I not pay the bill at time of service. She insisted I have the Dr's office fax her the bill at time of service so that CHBA could discount it. The following week I saw the neurologist. He informed me I'd need an MRI. At this time I put Angel at CHBA in touch with the receptionist in the neurology department so they could work on payment/ discount arrangements for the bills. All the while, I'm thinking everything is being handled so I continue to pursue treatment for my medical issue. After receiving the MRI, I saw the neurologist for a follow up appointment. Thank god, there was nothing on the MRI. The Dr then prescribed some medication for the headaches and things went back to normal. So now that my medical issue is taken care of I contacted Angel at CHBA to see what had been discounted. I was told by Angel, the bills were still being looked over and that they were negotiating a discount for all the bills combined. A couple of weeks went by and I started getting bills from Mercy Medical group. I then called Angel to find she no longer worked at CHBA and a representative from CHBA said, " since you went out of service for treatment we cannot discount any of your bills" I couldn't believe it!?? All this time their representative Angel was telling me it was ok.. now she's gone and it's not? I was really angry by this time and contacted Wendy at CHBA in the administrative department. I had told her everything that had happened and she then referred me to the Karis group. The Karis group is an organization that works with medical bills and negotiates with the hospital or health care provider to lower/discount your medical bills. I faxed all the bills I had received from Mercy Medical Group to the Karis Group. I was working with a young lady named Ruth and things seemed to be moving along. I informed Ruth at the Karis group I was concerned this might effect my credit if not taken care of in a timely manner. Almost 3 months had gone by since time of service for these bills. She said not to worry to let them work on it and see what they could do. A week or so passes and then I get a call from Ruth/Karis Group, she states there's nothing they can do since it's taken so long since time of service. She says if I had contacted them sooner, they could have possibly done something more. I couldn't believe it!! I then contacted Mercy Medical Group myself to see if we could work something out?? I was put in touch with a young lady named Jessica. Jessica was so helpful and worked with me to see what could be done. At this time I had a bill for a neurology appointment for $481.00 an MRI for $1428.00 and a follow up visit for $176.00 not to mention the bills I had already paid. A day or two after talking with Jessica at Mercy Medical Group we came to an agreement. They agreed to discount the 3 bills. If I had to do it all over again, I would have not signed up for the CHBA discount program. CHBA does not save you anything and there is no benefit by having it. I would not recommend CHBA to anyone.