A CPAP Machine Can Help Some Get Better Sleep but Insurers Don’t Make It Easy
Diabetics also pay exorbitant prices for supplies when they get them through their insurance - it’s much cheaper for me to get needles, test strips etc. through Walmart or Amazon than through Blue Cross Blue Shield of KC.
Izard says Cigna and CareCentrix benefit from such behind-the-scenes deals by shifting the extra costs to patients, who often end up covering the marked-up prices out of their deductibles. And even once their insurance kicks in, the amount the patients must pay will be much higher.Since these ongoing costs are for preventative medicine and medical practice and prevent deaths, then under the letter of the law in ACA the insurance company should be bearing full costs and the patients none. Instead they push the costs onto the patients by raising the patient paid parts and creating Kafkaesque compliance policies. It amounts to a racket since they are profiteering in some cases and initiating the billing practices through conspiracy, and they ought to be prosecuted under RICO.
Neufeld declined to comment for this story. But his attorney, Robert Izard, says Cigna contracted with a company called CareCentrix, which coordinates a network of suppliers for the insurer. Neufeld decided to contact his supplier directly to find out what it had been paid for his supplies and compare that to what he was being charged. He discovered that he was paying substantially more than the supplier said the products were worth. For instance, Neufeld owed $25.68 for a disposable filter under his Cigna plan, while the supplier was paid $7.50. He owed $147.78 for a face mask through his Cigna plan while the supplier was paid $95.
ProPublica found all the CPAP supplies billed to Neufeld online at even lower prices than those the supplier had been paid. Longtime CPAP users say it’s well known that supplies are cheaper when they are purchased without insurance.