A Story of Sticker Shock


Photo Courtesy of Charlie.

Charlie and her family did the responsible thing, making sure they had health insurance so they would be prepared for major health expenses. That’s why Charlie was blindsided when she faced a whopping $1200 price tag on her MRI, even though it was approved by her insurance. Well, Charlie isn’t the type to take that sort of surprise sitting down. When she didn’t like the answers she got from her insurer, she found a better way – through MDsave.

 Meet Charlie

Tell us about yourself. What do you want everyone to know about you?

I married my high school sweetheart, and just last week we celebrated our 10th anniversary! We have one child, a daughter who is four years old.

What do you do for a living, and what are your hobbies?

I am a paralegal, and my hobbies are cooking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

When did you realize there might be something wrong?

I have been suffering from allergies and chronic sinus infections for as long as I can remember. I would typically have seven or more infections a year; I was constantly on antibiotics and steroids to treat the infection.* Nothing was working! I have seen several ENTs [ear, nose and throat specialists] and allergists for help, and no one could get my roller coaster sinuses under control. Finally, in March, I saw my third ENT and he said that I needed a MRI scan on my sinuses.

How did you hear about us?

Let me back up some. My husband is a high school teacher and coach in Georgia’s public education system, and our health insurance is a middle grade policy. Not the super high policy that is good for truly sick people and not the low grade policy for the college guy. We have adequate health insurance.

[My insurer] cleared me for the MRI but told me that my out-of-pocket cost would be over $1200! I blessed out [sternly rebuked, scolded] my insurer as to why I even pay for health insurance when my husband is a teacher and we have state-provided health insurance!!! Talk about fuming mad!

But that’s another soapbox.

My ENT suggested I check out MDsave.com if my insurance deductible was high. I checked out the MDsave website, created my account, and searched for my procedure and doctor.

How much did you save and what was it like working with us?

MDsave told me the MRI would cost me $227, and that’s before I signed up for the $25 email discount, so over $1100 in savings! “Surely this can’t be right,” I thought, so I started all over to make sure I followed the steps correctly. Again, $227. WOW! So, I put the MRI in my cart and proceeded to check out.

The entire process was surprisingly easy! I paid upfront, MDsave emailed me a voucher and I then forwarded it to my imaging center. That’s it! Super simple. I then proceeded to post on Facebook how I have discovered MDsave. I totally recommended that people check it out, to see if their doctor participated and if the procedure was covered. My Facebook post was shared many times and I received tons of comments thanking me for the information.

How are you feeling now?

I have since had the sinus surgery and I am recovering wonderfully! I am so thankful to my ENT for recommending MDsave to me or I would not have done the MRI and ultimately the surgery because of out-of-pocket costs. I would absolutely recommend MDsave to anyone (and I already have)!
*Note: In cases of chronic sinus infections like Charlie’s, steroids may be used to make breathing easier – but long term use can have side effects and steroids are often only used after other medicines have failed. If chronic sinus infections can’t be controlled with medication, then surgery may be the only alternative.

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