On Tuesday I posted a blog about whether or not our over 18 children are adults if we pay for them. I mentioned paying for my daughter’s healthcare even though I’m legally not allowed to ask questions about it.
I had just written a reply to someone’s comment, and then I began to go through my inbox. Betty’s new dog license, 20% off one item at Bed Bath, Discount tickets for Slave Play- only till January 23, and a bill from a Doctor that my daughter had seen.
Now I know why my daughter went to the Doctor because we first played three rounds of “Do you really think it could be strep” and me responding “I have no idea because I’m not a Doctor but you have one on campus.” Also, my daughter has never once had strep throat but apparently some kids on campus had it so my daughter assumed that she’d hit the strep lottery. (side note- no strep just a little post nasal drip irritating her throat cured by a few cough drops and tea with honey)
First off, it’s addressed to my daughter. But I clearly see from the return address that it’s a lab bill from a health corporation.
Technically I’m not supposed to open this but if we wait for my daughter to get home, what’s the window for paying? So we hit the first wall- they’ve sent a bill to an address that my daughter should only be living in for short periods of the year.
But I know exactly what this is, so I open it.
What if I didn’t know why my daughter had gone to the Doctor?
Do I open the letter anyway? Do I call her? Do I mail it to her so she can take care of it? Should medical bills of college students be emailed only to avoid this two address snafu?
At the end of the day- my husband and I are responsible for this bill. We signed all sorts of forms that we would pay off any debt that my daughter accrues while going to the Doctor and such…
I like knowing what I’m paying for. I look at the gas bill before we pay it. My husband checks off the things on the credit card statement. I confirm that someone in our household has actually bought the things in Amazon statements…Do you look at bills before you pay them, or do you assume everything is hunky dory? Shouldn’t we look over health care bills as well?
FYI- about 4 years ago, when I was 52ish, I had an ugly case of pneumonia. I was also through menopause. Do you know the Doctor place gave me a pregnancy test and charged 500$ for it? I refused to pay for it because I told them that 100% I was not pregnant- and it was an unnecessary expense.
Don’t we all like to know if we are being cheated or scammed or having our identity stolen?
Isn’t it our right to know exactly what we are paying for?
So there’s a bill, that we are contractually obligated, to pay but we have legally have no right to ask about it or question it?
Then, Nana L brought up a good point. Her 18 year old Grandson received news of an illness and he had no one in the room with him because he was 18. Shouldn’t a Doctor ask the patient if they want someone to accompany them to an appointment such as this? At any age, wouldn’t you want a second set of ears to listen? While I get that laws are set up to protect, sometimes shouldn’t there be a slightly different protocol?
Do rules set up to protect people sometimes do more harm than good? Shouldn’t there be some system set up so that parents, given the adult child’s permission, be given updates about things like this, without having to go to a lawyer and draw up documents?
We have no expectation of privacy once we leave our house. We can be filmed, photographed and listened to. Yet we can’t ask about a bill we are supposed to pay for? I think there needs to be a better way.