Readers and friends know I went to the hospital emergency room with what turned out to be a kidney stone the last week of April. The other day I got the hospital bill. It is a strange, unreal thing. Here are the numbers:

Charges: $10,179
Insurance company adjustments: 8,562.08
Insurance company payment: 1,017.90
My net bill: 599.02

My insurance company knocked down the bill by just over 84%. To me this means the hospital charged me 84% above what the insurance company believed to be the fair price for services and medications. This makes it easy to see how someone with no insurance can be driven into bankruptcy by a single ER visit.

BTW this bill does not include the ER doctor nor the radiologist, who bill separately. Their bills were adjusted by the insurance company too, but nothing like the hospital bill.