Hospital bill for one night?

85 posts in this topic

Agree with swimmer. And then - with  a native German native speaker friend - call Mawista/ Allianz.

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14 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

but you might be able to arrange a payment plan?

I luckily have an emergency saving and if I borrow from my acquaintances (who already gave an ok), I should be able to cover the bill for now and think about how to repay them later. Maybe with some part time jobs. Thanks for your concern :)

Now what I want to know is, is there a better way to solve this than simply paying this ridiculously expensive bill? Do you have some advice for me?

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4 minutes ago, Bao said:

 

Now what I want to know is, is there a better way to solve this than simply paying this ridiculously expensive bill? Do you have some advice for me?

 

No, apart from trying to negotiate the price and paying the bill, there are no alternatives.

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As per Swimmer´s comment, Bao - and spread the word that Germany is not a FREE country for health insurance, WARN your friends that Germany is costly  AND to check around for sound advice. And even sound advice may not be good enough if you can´t fit into the public system.

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16 minutes ago, Bao said:

Now what I want to know is, is there a better way to solve this than simply paying this ridiculously expensive bill? Do you have some advice for me?

 

No, because you said you are doing exactly what people who choose to self-insure normally do and / or those facing any unexpected bill.   Use your savings (which in part come from having paid lower insurance premiums) and earning the cash.     That's what I know I have to do in respect of risks that happen that I choose not to insure and / or unplanned bills.   Same as most people I think.   Good you have a reserve.  So there is no more to be said on that :).    

 

Take the learnings about pricing (such as how much an ambulance call out costs) and move to suitable insurance.   In addition, given you have had a condition, consider the future and if it may be "chronic",  as it may be advisable to get decent cover.   In general,  low probability but high impact (cost or other) risk should usually insured where possible. 

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Earlier this year my son was admitted to hospital in Mosbach with similar symptoms --nothing clear, just had to do some tests. He was there for one night. He has international private insurance with William Russell (thanks to John_J).

The bill came a few weeks later: EUR 800+. He went for a check up at my Hausarzt a week later and got a bill for about EUr 20. 

The insurance paid everything, minus 250 or so co-pay.

 

So yes your bill does sound a bit high to me. 

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Dear @john g. and @swimmer, thank you very much for your detailed advice. I will remember this lesson :)

 

And @arunadasi, yeah, I cannot believe that they charge me 1700 for an ultrasonic scan and a painkiller shot, now I know a little more about Germany :blink:

 

Anyway, there goes my dream of a new laptop...

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On the other hand there was this part of the bill I did not understand at all. Perhaps there's an explanation someone can explain! 

 

Bill.jpg

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I had the impression GI work can be relatively expensive, one to steer away from if possible but again will vary by process.   Commitment of equipment for a period of time (like a tube attached to some machine for a couple hours) is when costs can possibly rack up, because that asset needs to be used  and only one person can.     Whereas, say, a mammogram is about 130 but they can probably use the machine for 8+  in a morning.   Or a quick ultrasound of the uterus (a process of a few minutes) is about 40.  Certainly look at the big items on the bill.

 

Human intervention is generally really cheap  for routine appointment stuff.   It's usually 12 Euro for a basic consultation on my invoices.

 

Another point to note is that the invoice should have your diagnoses on it - normally listed above the charges.   Make sure they are consistent with what the listed treatment was.

 

Quote

On the other hand there was this part of the bill I did not understand at all. Perhaps there's an explanation someone can explain! 

 

Pure speculation and also cannot really see it - Is that somehow along the lines of the above?  You got a reduction because the duration was under (the "U") a certain level?    It appears to be a relatively complex process to price, and there are varaints (as per that earlier link).

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That does seem expensive. I had a similar experience a couple of years ago, waking in the night with sudden excruciating stomach pains. There was nobody else home at the time so I tottered (literally) round to the local hospital (luckily not far). I was there from about 10.30 pm until dawn and they checked my vitals, took some blood, gave me painkillers and did an ultrasound and some careful prodding. They couldn't find any immediate cause so they told me to go home and sleep it off, which I did (for 2 days!) I was dreading the bill but it actually only came to around EUR 120, most of which was reimbursed by my insurer. Querying the bill sounds like good advice.

 

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23 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

I don't understand why you had to pay the ambulance when a doctor ordered it. 

 

Oh well.

The mail from Allianz told me something along the line of "We do not cover transportation expenses". 

Well, I guess that I get what I paid for...

 

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24 minutes ago, Bao said:

The mail from Allianz told me something along the line of "We do not cover transportation expenses". 

Well, I guess that I get what I paid for...

 

Was your insurance contract in English, Bao? Or did you have the highlights in English at all?

 

Is this what you have?

https://www.mawista.com/en/

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Two things, first, I don't think the date is an "expiration" date, I guess it was the latest day you should have paid, i.e. "pay before ...".  But since you didn't receive the bill in time you have an strong argument for not paying any extra late charges you might receive.

 

And second, I really do not understand the "they only made one test and gave me an aspirin".    The expensive check they did was to find out if you had something really bad that need emergency action, you went to the emergency room after all.    I guess you would be happier if they had found you had something very bad and operated you, because then you would think the money you paid was worth.   It is the same mentality as "health insurance is a waste of money because I never get sick".

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3 hours ago, john g. said:

Was your insurance contract in English, Bao? Or did you have the highlights in English at all?

 

Is this what you have?

https://www.mawista.com/en/

I think they mention the thing about ambulance fees not being covered in the 5th clause.

https://www.mawista.com/behandlungsschein.pdf

 

3 hours ago, Krieg said:

Two things, first, I don't think the date is an "expiration" date, I guess it was the latest day you should have paid, i.e. "pay before ...".  But since you didn't receive the bill in time you have an strong argument for not paying any extra late charges you might receive.

 

And second, I really do not understand the "they only made one test and gave me an aspirin".    The expensive check they did was to find out if you had something really bad that need emergency action, you went to the emergency room after all.    I guess you would be happier if they had found you had something very bad and operated you, because then you would think the money you paid was worth.   It is the same mentality as "health insurance is a waste of money because I never get sick".

Thanks, the people before you have already told me about that "pay before" date :) I plan to pay that bill as soon as possible after consulting about the price.

 

And no, I was not complaining about their quality of service, the doctors there were very polite and they did really thorough tests. It was the price. I don't know what price is the norm in Germany, but in my home country, that scan costs about 15 Euros. Of course we have different average income, so lets calculate that in meals. 15E is enough for about 10 meals in a family restaurant in my homeland (which is roughly equivalent to to an Imbiss in Germany), but how many meals can 1600E cover in Germany? Yes, I know that the quality of service in Germany is much higher, but I honestly cannot feel comfortable with that price tag. Maybe I am just not well informed on how costly medical services can be in Germany?

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The hospitals use a payment system based on averages in a group of diagnoses.

 

G67C is the following:

"Ösophagitis, Gastroenteritis, gastrointestinale Blutung, Ulkuserkrankung und verschiedene Erkrankungen der Verdauungsorgane ohne bestimmte oder andere komplizierende Faktoren, ohne äußerst schwere CC"

 

That means it includes your apparently simple case but also things like internal bleeding and ulcers which clearly require more work. That's why it's so expensive, with the average case apparently costing €3367,36. In your case they are charging 0.47 "units" (probably because you stayed less than the average for that group)

 

5 hours ago, Bao said:

The mail from Allianz told me something along the line of "We do not cover transportation expenses". 

Well, I guess that I get what I paid for...

 

 

There are no transportation costs in that bill.

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Correction: the 3367 is the price for a "unit" at that hospital. The 0.47 is the normal price for that group. (They're not giving you any discount for staying less than the average)

 

If you were only there for 1 night I'm not sure they should be charging you for 2 days though...

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2 hours ago, Bao said:

15E is enough for about 10 meals in a family restaurant in my homeland (which is roughly equivalent to to an Imbiss in Germany), but how many meals can 1600E cover in Germany? 

 

Yes, we know, all the things we could have bought...if only we had not had to spend our money on other essential things :wacko:.     We can drive ourself mad doing this.  Most of us do this when a large unexpected bill arrives.  And those of us that choose a nation for the benefits it gives us can do the same with "but in my country..." as soon as the bills for the trade-offs come in.     You have though significantly undercosted -  next day return flight to Vietnam would need including too, and that might well cost more.

 

How much have you saved from your free German education, compared to obtaining the same top international level of education in Vietnam, for example? Could you even have got it?  I have extended family from there, I often see them make choices between the two locales.  Yes, right, they do do some procedures in Vietnam, and to draw on local cultural preferences regarding healthcare that are not routinely accessible here, but only planned / predictable ones, or chronic ones that  need solving but can wait until the next vacation.   They don't do "it's cheaper there" for this sort of emergency thing...because they live here.   They choose not to live in the "but it's only 15 Euro" nation.

 

That could be another tip, perhaps?  Tap in to your diaspora, which is quite big here, and get advice on how they manage.  The anglophone world generally has not got such a big economic disparity to manage.   (This stuff would cost similar prices in my nation if self-paying).   And if it is that cheap, it may be prudent to invest in a thorough checkup of this issue next time you are there, and indeed other medical issues.

 

And you saved money by self-insuring this risk, so deduct that from the real cost.  You simply saved in advance for it and / or planned to pay it from future earnings rather than taking up an insurance policy, as you said earlier.  Just a different funding model.   It's not cost you more than anyone 

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