Eye High Costs

Peat Eyez at Gallaria

Healthcare is expensive, more expensive for some, but less expensive for others. No clearer example of this was on display Monday at the eye hospital. This is a medical facility in West County that specializes in eye surgery. Because we had to wait so long before I was called, I got a clear insight into America’s disparity in healthcare costs. Going into this eye surgery, it was explained to me that there would be four bills per eye. The first I paid up front, a couple of weeks ago. That was for my new lens for the left eye. It was two grand. I’m on Medicare and a normal replacement lens is covered and is nominally free, but I wanted the best that I could get, which for me it is a toric lens. Unfortunately, Medicare views such an upgrade as cosmetic and won’t cover it at all. The second I paid on Monday to the hospital as my co-pay, which was $13.52. Sitting in the waiting room for hours, I couldn’t help but overhear what all the other old geezers were charged by the hospital. Universally, they were charge more. Most had to pay just a few hundred dollars, but one guy was charged a grand. I wonder why there was such a disparity in costs, since everyone had to be on Medicare too. I’ll still be charged by the anesthesiologist and my surgeon, but hopefully neither of these will be much. At least that is what the surgeon led me to believe during our pre-operative consult. Then we get to do this all over again for the other eye.