Here Is Your Open Thread

Left untold is the story of the victims, disparaged as “garbage” by Mr. DiCaprio’s character in the movie.

For many of them — small-business owners and people like Steve Orton, a State Farm insurance agent from Alpharetta, Ga. — the publicity for the movie has brought back the old pain. Still, Mr. Orton said, while “it kind of sickens me, I really feel like I owe it to myself to complete the circle to see it.”

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street will be coming out in theaters next week, and Dealbook is looking at the stories the movie won’t be talking about: what happened to the victims.


21 Comments / Post A Comment

beet hummus (#946)

Got an unexpected $700 bill for a routine physical because unbeknownst to me, my doctor is contracted with my health insurance company on every plan except the one I’m on. No one informed me of this when I went in for the appointment.

Of course I should have double (triple) checked before the appointment, but really the level of complexity and sneakiness of the health insurance industry makes the cards stacked against consumers to begin with.

I filed a grievance and got a letter full of legalese that basically amounted to “screw you.”


LookUponMyWorks (#2,616)

@beet hummus I’m so sorry this happened; yes, they are sneaky. You should absolutely file another grievance. And another. And write a letter to their CEO, let them know you’re getting in touch with the BBB.

Edited to add: does the $700 go to the insurance company or the doctor’s office? The doctor’s office may be willing to cut you a deal…

WayDownSouth (#3,431)

@beet hummus when you visit the doctor in the US, are you expected to know the financial agreements he or she has with the various insurance companies? That’s bizarre. I’d be very unhappy about that too.

When we visited the US last time, my wife had to see the doctor about something relatively minor. The doctor talked with my wife for 10 minutes and I spent 20 minutes talking with the receptionist about our travel insurance. I’d assumed until just now that the extra hassle was due to the travel insurance. I didn’t realise the complications that insurance imposes on normal medical checks and so on.

beet hummus (#946)

Thanks, I was planning to just give in. But that’s what they WANT.

I also think my doctor’s office should shoulder some of the responsibility for this. I feel like I was misled. At the end of the day they’re a business, and aren’t they are legally obligated to be transparent about costs with their customers? Maybe I should contact Consumer Affairs, too. (I’m in NYC).

Basically yes we are, it’s totally labyrinthine. You have to check to make sure your doc is in your “network” before seeing them. Even though my doc’s site says they take BlueCross BlueShield, they’re not in-network for my *specific* plan. It’s horrible. And the burden is totally on the patient/consumer to figure this stuff out. This even applies to emergency/hospital care. If the surgeon doing your surgery is not in your network, you could be responsible for the costs (even if the hospital itself IS in your network).

OllyOlly (#669)

@beet hummus Have you talked to your insurance? There may be a chance they will reimburse you directly, but just don’t have an automatic billing connection set up with your doctor…maybe?

I can’t imagine, I was so pissed when the last time I got bloodwork with was $93 with insurance, $700! :(

beet hummus (#946)

Yes, the grievance I filed was with the insurance company. They’ve made it pretty clear I didn’t follow the rules, and they are not sympathetic. :(

thejacqueline (#799)

@OllyOlly Healthcare is always ALWAYS negotiable. Knock ’em down.

Ellie (#62)

@WayDownSouth Yes, that is a very succinct way of putting it! When you visit any doctor, you are expected to know the agreement he or she has with your insurance company. However, this is relatively easy to find out. Your insurance provider should give you the ability to search for within-network services, or you can call the doctor’s office and find out which insurance they take.

beet hummus (#946)

You’re right, it is easy which is why I feel like an even bigger idiot. I still feel like someone should have been up-front with me at the office though…

LookUponMyWorks (#2,616)

@beet hummus No. This system is designed for you to fail.

I also recently went to see a new doctor. I just moved and don’t have a local doc, I needed to see this doctor, so I made an appointment. I read my insurance documents, and searched their website. Was I required to have a referral to see this doc? Couldn’t find it in my plan documents or on the company’s website – anywhere, even when I did a keyword search for referrals.

Guess who just got a bill for seeing a doc without a referral? Yeah. This system is cracked.

beet hummus (#946)

Amen. Sorry to hear you’re in this boat with me.

Edit: Oh I just saw your comment above. The $700 goes to the doctor and the lab that did some tests. If I try and fail with the insurance company, yes, my next move is to negotiate that sucker down.

@beet hummus I had a similar problem last year and I just wanted to cheer you on! Definitely call the doctor’s office and negotiate. Let us know how it works out.

jquick (#3,730)

@beet hummus When making your appt, why don’t you just ask if the doc is covered under your insurance? Easy as that. One question would have saved you all this time and energy (and money).

beet hummus (#946)

Wellllll I can’t go back in time, so now I have to figure out a way to move forward.

andnowlights (#2,902)

Oooh Alpharetta. Wonder if my parents know that guy.

Fig. 1 (#632)

Well, I was going to post my issue here but it is a very teeny tiny thing compared to everyone else’s, so I put on my Mike Dang pants and figured it out. Thanks, Open Thread!

Liz the Lemur (#3,125)

@Fig. 1 “Mike Dang” pants is my new favorite phrase.

This week, instead of actually budgeting how much I should put into next year’s FSA I just put in the maximum amount that they will let me roll over into next year. That way, even if I spend $0, it doesn’t disappear.

@Fig. 1 black jeans?

Fig. 1 (#632)

@lemur_niemer This reminds me, I need to dump some extra money into my pension plan. And call my bank to make an appointment to break up with them. It’s definitely not me, it’s them.

Fig. 1 (#632)

@stuffisthings you know it

Eric18 (#4,486)

“Listen, the idea of Stratton was it was wealthy people we were calling — not your average moms and pops,” he said.

Oh well, then! If it’s only wealthy people you are screwing over, then it’s OK! Commence massive eye-rolling.

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