One of the many ways India gets it right

Remember when I got bitten by a stray dog in India? Yeah, that was apparently the fun part.

At the time, managing to keep to my vaccine schedule was a small price to pay for, you know…surviving. I was able to get three of the five recommended shots while I was in India, which despite a less-than-enjoyable allergic reaction at one point, was not all that difficult to make happen. Show my prescription to a chemist, take the vial and sterile syringe to the hospital across the street for injection, pay about Rs 20 for the whole thing.

It was when I got back to the states that things got complicated. Rather, the healthcare system got complicated – my need for the shots, the actual medication – all that stayed exactly the same.

Complicating matters, I’ve been without insurance (gasp!) for almost a year now, what with the changing employment status and all. So when the bill came in at over $1,300 for the two shots I’d gotten in the States, I understandably balked.

Because no.

For all three shots in India, I paid around $30 US. I understand the vaccine isn’t as common here, that the hospitals where I got the shots are nicer. But over $600 per shot?! Not. Happening.

So I disputed the charges. But they didn’t get that letter. So I sent it again. But they kept billing me, even though they said they wouldn’t once they got my dispute. Then they sent the bill they were supposed to put on hold to a collection agency. Then the collection agency called me, and assured me that my credit’s already been compromised simply by way of having them involved.

No, this is not OK.

Now I get to follow up with both the Utah healthcare company who administered the shots (which seems like another lifetime now) and the collection agency who shouldn’t be involved in this in the first place. It won’t be fun, and it will probably be expensive.

But you know, at least I didn’t die.

Seriously, that link above is the most horrifying-slash-fascinating podcast I’ve listened to maybe ever. Worth checking out.