So it was the thing I feared most...not the surgery, but surgery without insurance. I asked what kind of timeframe we were looking at, and the rep at TFMS said he didn't know yet, but that it's usually within 1-2 weeks because they pay the surgeon promptly and more quickly than insurance companies, so "they like to get our patients in quickly."
The first step was getting an actual estimate. Within a couple of days, I had the numbers from Texas Free Market Surgery. They said that the cost should be accurate, and even if they got in there and it was less, I would be issued a refund.
The amount seems high, but at $8,000 out the door, that's less than four months of the $2,400 insurance premium quoted to us by Humana. An amount most folks could get a loan for, or put all or part on a credit card, or borrow from a family member.
And I realized something really important...they said it was "$8,000 out the door." That covers the facility, the surgeon, and the anesthesiologist. One of my biggest frustrations about traditional insurance programs is not having a clue what your cost is, and being inundated by multiple bills for months. Could it be true that TFMS was going to eliminate this?
They told me that I'd get a call this next week for payment, and they put me on the schedule for April 27th, with a pre-op appointment on April 26th (included in price). Oh, and I also learned that my initial $200 consultation goes toward the price of the surgery.
So I'm hanging in there for the moment, counting the days. Eleven days and counting. I'm hurting pretty badly, so I look forward to the surgery. After all, the unknowns of the price are not as scary.