Here's the statement from the insurance company for my surgery. As you can see (click on the photo to see it larger), the hospital was allowed just over $71,000 for "incidentals." If you think that is bad, we saw the documentation on the insurance company's website showing that the hospital actually asked for $153,000 for the "incidentals." The fact that they're getting just under half of what they asked for sounds cheesy on the insurance company's part, and luckily, our insurance company did cover those incidentals, no problem, so we don't have to pay.
Still, I'm curious as to just what exactly those incidentals were. I mean incidentals are defined as things that are minor, casual or subordinate. Subordinate to what? Well, things that are not incidentals, but essentials.
So is this charge for things like those little bottles of Keri lotion or the infernal baby powder they are always pushing on you when you are a patient? Actually I think those things are better categorized under "sundries," but there wasn't a category on the statement for that. Anyway, I didn't use the lotion or baby powder, so maybe the insurance company can get the money back? Not that I'm so keen on helping out the insurance company, but then maybe our premiums would go down, or something like that.
Do the incidentals include the use of hospital gowns? Cause I brought my own, so can that be deducted too? The day I was discharged a volunteer came in and gave me a small plant; what portion of the 71K was that little schefflera?
Just the room and board alone was close to $25,000. I could have rented a room at a nice hotel in Philadelphia with that money. I sure didn't eat many meals (read: ONE that wasn't sippable, and there weren't too many of the sippable kind, come to think of it) so there should be a reduction in the "board" amount, too.
I guess I shouldn't be complaining too much, as I said earlier, our insurance company did pay for most of the bill, but I just wonder what kind of world it is where insurance companies will pay $71,000 for "incidentals" but won't approve more than one level of TDR (total disc replacement) when a doctor deems it necessary. As in essential. As in the opposite of "incidental."