This cancer thing turns out isn't cheap. Who would know. We have been blessed though. I really feel like God has looked out for us in this way as well.
Way back when, 20 years ago, when I bought health insurance for my family, I decided to pay extra so that if we ever needed treatment "out of network", they would pay for it. I paid for that option for almost 20 years and then my cancer struck.
The first surgery was very complex. We found a guy at Huntsman who said he could do it but told us he had only done one in his life before. We just didn't feel good about that. So we set up appointments at Mayo, MD Anderson, New York Kettering, the top cancer hospitals in the country. We felt like God would tell us when we found where we were supposed to be.
First stop Mayo Clinic. We had a consult with the surgeon and others and felt we had our answer. We cancelled the other consults. We went to check out our insurance and to our surprise, they had dropped our "out of network" coverage without ever asking us about a month before my cancer. I was appalled. I called my insurance agent and he said that the law had been changed allowing them to do it. Some sort of cost savings measure. So we were on our own. I can't remember how much that first surgery was but it was a lot. At Mayo Clinic, you pay before they treat you. I remember going to the financial desk a few days before surgery and the lady looking at the paper and then telling us "It looks like your cost will be $180,000. How would you like to pay for that today?"
WOW! We handed her all our credit cards and told her to max them out. Then we ran home and used all our savings to pay them off and ran back and did it again and so forth, finally mortgaging our home and borrowing money from our children until we had enough. We thought, "At least we are going to get frequent flyer miles out of this." I wondered how we would ever dig ourselves out of the financial hole we were digging but we just had to trust the Lord.
So, things went along. About 9 months later we suddenly had a purchase offer to buy an x-ray company that I had helped to start. The offer was too generous for us to ignore so we sold. Some people walked away from that deal with millions, not us. But we did make a handsome profit. After we paid our tithing, taxes and all that stuff it turned out that there was enough left over to pay off all our medical debts and still some left over. What was left over would pay for the other medical debts that I would incur and then some. The Lord was looking out for us.
About 3 months ago my father came by and we were visiting. Talk turned to insurance. He said, "I don't know why your insurance won't pay out of network, mine will" I thought, "Yeah, well you have Medicare, kind of a different deal." But he persisted. He had some supplemental plan also that would pay out of network. I had looked for this a year ago when Obamacare first began and found nothing for me. But, I thought it was worth revisiting.
A little research revealed that things had changed. Because of Obamacare, I could change insurance and now there were three policies that would pay (a lesser amount) out of network. I looked at them as close as I could and then made the change.
The new insurance wasn't quite as good at IHC hospitals. That was a bummer. I soon found that out when I went to the emergency room. But then we went to Florida. We expected a similar overall bill to what we had paid at Mayo Clinic but hoped our insurance would help at least a little. We took out a loan just in case it didn't. When we showed up the day before surgery they wanted us to pay again before the procedure. We sat down and the lady said, "Well, it looks like after your insurance you will owe $2300. How would you like to pay for that?" I almost fell off my chair.
A few days later when we went to the nuero-opthamaolgist JoLynne called to see if they would take our insurance. They told us "No". We called the insurance, they insisted that we should have coverage. We went back and forth. Then the sister missionaries came by knocking on our door. There were surprised to find an LDS family here. They were so sweet and asked how they could serve us. We told them about our insurance problem. They offered a prayer that the insurance would all work out and that I would heal normally. JoLynne called back to the doctor. Someone different answered and said, "Oh, yeah, it's all fine. Your insurance is already in there and approved" The next day we went and it cost us $0. Even the lady at the desk commented "Wow, you have great insurance." Again, the Lord is taking such good care of us.