I got a bill yesterday from the ophthalmologist (yes, it took me about five tries to spell that word). The bill was something of a surprise. It took me an anxious three weeks to get the referral, then it took me six weeks to get in for an appointment, and now apparently my insurance company won't cover the visit because prior authorization was not obtained.
I guess that obtaining a referral is not the same thing as obtaining prior authorization. If I'd known I needed to do that I would have filled out paperwork, sent faxes, driven across town, donated blood, whatever it took! WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE TELL ME!
When I called the insurance company I found out that the doctor's office was supposed to obtain the prior authorization. However, I'm the one who signed the paper that says if the insurance decides not to cover it, I have to pay. I haven't got the doctor's office side of the story yet - I intend to go in and talk to them in person.