Hard to Escape Third-Party Health Payment

How entrenched is third-party payment for health care?

Consider a personal example. Recently my wife went to her doctor. She paid for the care at the time of service using funds from our Health Savings Account. She had to explain that, no, we did not want to submit the bill to insurance. She had to explain that, yes, she in fact wanted to pay for the service, at the time of service, all by herself.

So she paid the bill, and that’s that, right?

Of course not. We just got a notice from our insurance company informing us that the doctor’s office also billed insurance for the doctor’s visit, despite the fact that my wife paid the bill at the time of service. So now we have to spend more time resolving the double-billing.

Apparently, the doctor’s staff literally cannot mentally grasp the notion of paying for health care at the time of service.