Last month I went to an ophthalmologist in Alaska to get a piece of paper signed saying I have a cataract and it doesn't need to be removed so I could qualify to serve in the Peace Corps. I made all of this extremely clear to the medical office, who said I would have a 'comprehensive exam for a new patient.'
The doctor and assistant began running vision tests and viewed my cataract, signed the paperwork, and said they had just a few more tests to do. They didn't say this was in addition to the comprehensive exam. So they did the tests, and I settled my entire bill in the office for $243 (without insurance). Everything was peachy. I just paid $243 for a doctor to sign off on something I already knew, but hey. One more step in the process taken.
Then I got a call on my drive from Alaska to Illinois from a medical bill collector. I couldn't hear them due to static, and thought it really strange because all my bills are paid. Then today, my mother hands me a letter from Alaska - a bill for $395 from the ophthalmologist: $110 for an 'echo exam eye thickness' and $285 for 'eye exam with photos.'
I'm absolutely shocked. I don't have that money to spare and I don't have a job...and I feel totally taken advantage of when I'm just trying to do a good thing. All I wanted was the paper signed!