My wife and are enrolled in Medicare and have supplemental coverage through an employer self-insured plan administered by a major insurance company.
Our claims go to Medicare and then are spun off to the supplemental plan administrator.
Once every few months we receive an explanation of benefits from Medicare which is several pages of information the average person has trouble understanding. Then, several weeks later we receive another explanation of benefits from our supplemental plan.
So, for even for a simple office visit we may receive up to twelve sheets of paper.
Today I received such a EOB from the supplemental plan. It includes five sheets of paper double-sided.
The first sheet is the mailing address and summary of the claim. The second lists details of each service including seven different message codes. The third page is information about the EOB and my appeal rights. The fourth page tells me if I need help understanding all this who to call and it tells me so in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Gujarati, Polish, Italian, Tagalog, Russian, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Vietnamese, French, and Navajo.
The fifth page is a notice of non discrimination.
A great deal of this information and process is in compliance with laws and regulations.
Think of all the systems, individuals and facilities that must support all this… and this is just a tip of the iceberg.
Now I could elect to go paperless, that saves paper but it doesn’t change the processes or legal requirements… or much of the cost.