My 4-year old daughter’s allergies became quite alarming. It was beyond sniffles and sneezes and to the point of asthmatic reactions, breathing treatments every four hours, and more. When the pediatrician mentioned that she wondered if my insurance would cover allergy testing, I didn’t care if it was covered or not. In my mind, I needed to do everything possible to help my daughter, so if she needed allergy tests, I’d pay out of pocket if I had to.
The pediatrician ordered a blood allergy test, a test that, from what I’ve researched, is less painful than skin allergy testing but also less accurate and more expensive. I took my daughter to the hospital where she had 3 tubes of blood drawn.
I knew blood allergy testing was more expensive than skin allergy testing, but I was willing to clean out my savings account if necessary to get my daughter the help the pediatrician thought was necessary. Little did I know that I didn’t have enough money in my savings account to cover the actual cost.
I was shocked when I received the statement of charges from my insurance company. The allergy testing was nearly $1400! Talk about feeling nauseous. I cringed and squinted, afraid to see the number, as I checked to see how much I owed out-of-pocket. To my surprise and utter amazement, I owed nothing.
Praise the Lord (and trust me I did) that the allergy testing was covered by our insurance. I did feel like I was let off the hook, but not without learning a lesson. No one wants to base their child’s medical care on money, but sometimes questions need to be asked. I’m not saying that medical help should be ignored, because it definitely shouldn’t, but sometimes there are other options.
I could have asked about skin allergy testing, but I honestly thought it couldn’t possibly cost more than a few hundred dollars for some bloodwork. Money aside, had I known that skin allergy testing was more accurate, I may have chosen it simply for accuracy’s sake. But I never asked questions. I made decisions based on my emotions, not based on critical thinking and reasoning. It wasn’t an informed decision, and I do regret that, but my daughter has been doing much better lately since we got the results. We’ve had to modify a few things in our diet and environment, but it’s an incredibly small price to pay for my precious girl’s well-being.
Money’s not everything, but when you don’t have enough of it to pay your bill, it is something.
I know that the hospital we go to has a charity program that offers discounts and free medical care to patients who qualify. The income guidelines are very generous, and although I haven’t received any assistance from them, I know that others have. It’s a generous, caring thing that the hospital does for those who need help. If you’re ever in the situation I was spared from, ask your local hospital if they offer discounts or free medical care. I would think they’d be sensitive to your situation.
Article by Randi Millward