How Weird are Medical Expenses?

Trivia: This summer, I dealt with a kidney stone and my son broke his arm. How much do you think the total charges were?

One answer is: Just over $50,000.
Another answer is: Just over $6,600.

You see a few things when you look at the bills.
1) Lots of charges for things I never really consented to. I never consented because they were never really discussed. Certainly not in terms of financial impact.
2) Lots of high charges. Most seem pretty reasonable considering how well our bodies were fixed. But then you see the charge for someone standing in the room for ten minutes, over $100.
3) Huge discrepancy between pre-insurance and post-insurance. That’s the difference in those two numbers.
4) Huge discrepancies between the percentage insurance paid. Most were paid off at ~90%. But half the final bill, $3,387 dollars came from one charge that was paid at only 50%. And it was very similar to a previous charge. I should have investigated more on this one.
5) The exact same thing, for $883 dollars, was done on two different days (part of pre-op). The description was printed on the bill the exact same way both times. One time, insurance covered all but $61.20, the second time it was $55.20. I assume the difference is because of the intricate vagaries of exactly how someone coded it.

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