Another sad tale from the folks with "decent" health insurance:
Two months ago I visited my optometrist. When I called to make the appointment, I told them that my vision insurance had changed, and that I had checked and couldn't find them on the provider list, so did they actually take my insurance? They said they did and I went in. They took my insurance card and I asked again, "Do you actually take this insurance? Remember, I didn't find you on the provider list."
"Yes, we do!" the receptionist said cheerfully and I had my eye exam.
Fast forward a month. I get a bill from them with an apologetic handwritten note saying that actually, they don't take my insurance and that I should pay them $350 in full and then check with my insurance provider and see if they will reimburse me for some of that.
That's all well and good, but I don't happen to have a spare $350 lying around right now so I call the provider.
"We're sorry, but until you pay the bill in full we can't reimburse you."
"So, just so I understand this," I said, "because they made a mistake, I now owe them $350 which I can't pay them, and you can't do anything to help me until they've been paid, which I can't do because I don't have the money?"
"Yes, that's right."
I love the smell of a catch-22 in the morning.