Is it normal to be billed $300 for simply just INQUIRING to my doc about preventative services (e.g. Hep C, STI testing, etc.) along with a couple other q’s during my routine physical, w the reasoning being that these inquiries “fall outside the scope of a basic covered physical?”

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Aetna Choice POS II high deductible plan. I’m 26F and new to navigating health insurance. Is my situation par for the course or have I been overcharged?

I’ve been billed $297 for a visit that was essentially just a standard covered physical, an earwax removal, and a few (mostly preventative care-related) q’s. This $297 charge does NOT include the earwax removal I received (which I’m happily paying for separately), and I’m confused as to what exactly it’s for.

The UCLA billings lady I called said this $297 charge is because I asked questions/made requests during my physical that “fall outside the umbrella of a standard covered physical, and the doc has a legal right to bill for that.” But the brief q’s I asked my doc during my physical (which I’ve listed below) almost all pertained to preventative care that I’m being covered for.

Can someone please clear up for me whether me being charged $297 for pretty much just asking questions is normal? How are certain services deemed “preventative and necessary” and covered, but asking about them during a routine checkup is not?

Though I was unable to get clarification on what specific request or question led to my $297 charge, here’s a summary of my doctor’s visit, as itemized in the insurance claim. One or more of these items yielded my bill (and they were all input as codes), but I have gone through it and can’t find anything in it that warrants a $297 charge:

  • the 10 min basic, covered physical itself with my PCP (billings lady said a physical = only getting your vitals taken, along with anything preventative that the -doctor- orders, but me bringing up preventative requests myself is a diff story)

  • 10 second depression convo with PCP: (“Are you depressed?” “Sometimes” -end of convo-)

  • Birth control refill request to PCP (again, the pills themselves are covered by my insurance, but billings lady said asking my doc for the refill during my physical might not necessarily be, hence $297?)

  • 60 second dermatologist referral request from my doc (who didn’t even diagnose anything–she just glanced at a mole I brought to her attention to and then agreed to give me a referral)

  • a 30 min earwax removal by a nurse after my physical ended (which again, I’m happy paying for, but I’m confused about possibly being charged separately for bringing it up during my physical)

  • 15 min STI + Hep C bloodwork, as requested by me (again, I have not been charged for the bloodwork itself I got that day since it’s preventative, but billings lady said it’s fair game for me to be charged for requesting it at all during my physical since these services are “not part of a routine physical” (Even though they’re preventative!?)

submitted by /u/Environmental_West46
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Aetna Choice POS II high deductible plan. I’m 26F and new to navigating health insurance. Is my situation par for the course or have I been overcharged? I’ve been billed $297 for a visit that was essentially just a standard covered physical, an earwax removal, and a few (mostly preventative care-related) q’s. This $297 charge does NOT include the earwax removal I received (which I’m happily paying for separately), and I’m confused as to what exactly it’s for. The UCLA billings lady I called said this $297 charge is because I asked questions/made requests during my physical that “fall outside the umbrella of a standard covered physical, and the doc has a legal right to bill for that.” But the brief q’s I asked my doc during my physical (which I’ve listed below) almost all pertained to preventative care that I’m being covered for. Can someone please clear up for me whether me being charged $297 for pretty much just asking questions is normal? How are certain services deemed “preventative and necessary” and covered, but asking about them during a routine checkup is not? Though I was unable to get clarification on what specific request or question led to my $297 charge, here’s a summary of my doctor’s visit, as itemized in the insurance claim. One or more of these items yielded my bill (and they were all input as codes), but I have gone through it and can’t find anything in it that warrants a $297 charge:
the 10 min basic, covered physical itself with my PCP (billings lady said a physical = only getting your vitals taken, along with anything preventative that the -doctor- orders, but me bringing up preventative requests myself is a diff story) 10 second depression convo with PCP: (“Are you depressed?” “Sometimes” -end of convo-) Birth control refill request to PCP (again, the pills themselves are covered by my insurance, but billings lady said asking my doc for the refill during my physical might not necessarily be, hence $297?) 60 second dermatologist referral request from my doc (who didn’t even diagnose anything–she just glanced at a mole I brought to her attention to and then agreed to give me a referral) a 30 min earwax removal by a nurse after my physical ended (which again, I’m happy paying for, but I’m confused about possibly being charged separately for bringing it up during my physical) 15 min STI + Hep C bloodwork, as requested by me (again, I have not been charged for the bloodwork itself I got that day since it’s preventative, but billings lady said it’s fair game for me to be charged for requesting it at all during my physical since these services are “not part of a routine physical” (Even though they’re preventative!?)

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