The cost of health care has become a gigantic problem. Understanding that overhead (doctors, nurses, food service, etc.) is very high, a hospital stay of any length of time can ruin a person or family financially.

As teachers trying to raise two children in the ’70s on our salaries, it was difficult. We could not get “extra jobs” during the summer to qualify for Medicare. The school system then was not deducting insurance dues from our checks so, as a retired couple now, we are paying $800 a month out of our checks, which takes a big bite out of our income.

As deductibles go up, along with premiums, and out-of-pocket money goes up, what recourse does the public have?

Guess who is going to pay for those who have no insurance, or those who will be subsidized under any new health care plan? Those of us jokingly paying our own premiums.

A while back, I got a bill for $12,000 for a two-day stay in a hospital. I called my insurance company to question the bill and, to my surprise, the bill disappeared.

My point is this — people should not be afraid to call their insurance companies if they question their bills.

Luckily, my insurance company didn’t give me the runaround; it took care of the problem.

People should be aware. An error by the billing department or a doctor’s handwriting can result in wrong codes. One wrong key on the computer can be devastating.

George Ferguson, Sabattus

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