Hospital bills can be as painful as the injury that lands you there — especially if insurance doesn’t cover the costs.
Marlene Allen thought she had decent medical coverage after she fell in December and broke her wrist. She had come in from walking the dogs. It was wet. The fracture needed surgery and screws and a plate.
Weeks later, she learned her job-based health plan would cover nothing. Not the initial doctor visit, not the outpatient surgery, not the anesthesiology. She had $19,000 in bills.
“Make sure you find out what kind of plan it is” when employers offer coverage, advises Allen, who lives in northern Minnesota. “I thought health insurance was health insurance.”
A complex health law and bad information helped cause the trouble.
When her employer offered the health plan late last summer, Allen thought she had to sign up. That was wrong.
Once she was on the employer plan, she thought she had to drop the better, more comprehensive coverage she had bought through MNsure, the state’s online insurance marketplace. That was also wrong.
After she learned that her work plan covered hardly anything, and she tried to get back on a marketplace policy, MNsure told her she’s not eligible for subsidies
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