Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Adding Insult To Injury

After I wrote the previous post I got home that evening and sorted the mail. Somehow you always know when it's a medical bill, the envelope has a funny company name (never a doctor) and usually you can see a due date through the envelope without opening it. Sure enough look what I found when I opened it. Another medical bill but this one is for $1,096.94. This is exactly what I was talking about, there's always stuff like this coming up. Due date is 8/13, sure... let me pull $1,1000 from a tree in the backyard.

Keep in mind I've paid over $4,000 in medical bills so far this year. That's not counting any medications or co-pays at the doctors, just bills that come in the mail. I swear I can't catch a break which is why I asked, how do you people do it!?

Adding Insult To Injury? I thought it was a good name for this post LOL



  1. We spend about 12-13,000 on medical a year for premiums, co-pay, script, and equipment.

    I am going to assume that this bill is related to Baby... If it is related to Pregnancy/Delivery...then it shouldn't be a surprise. You need understand your insurance policy and what is covered and what isn't.

    If it is NICU...well, no one plans for that. If that is the case, you call them and make payment arrangements. They will work with you. I paid our NICU bill for 8 years... ya, but this is the way the world works. These things aren't just happening to you. Alot of this is failure to plan. Time to start thinking ahead and not just impulsively.

  2. I live in Canada so I don't have to pay any medical expenses.

    I also don't buy Coach purses or spend hundreds of dollars on birthday gifts.

    Doesn't it bother you to know that if you spent less money on stuff you would be able to pay this without any anxiety?

    Isn't there some sort of health savings plan in the USA? Could you set something like that up?

  3. I planned ahead, like I said, I've paid over 4k already. I keep track of all EOB's online and can usually estimate what I need to pay. This is what I don't like about the system- they never told me I would be responsible for this amount, I had 2 approval letters from insurance and sat down at the hospital with a financial counselor to go over all the charges, I made all those payments and then 5 months later this thing shows up!? It's like WTF!


  4. Well, then call and find out more! If this is for the "doctor" then they may bill separate from the hospital.

    By us, the hospital, doctor, anesthesiologist, the NICU doctor....all billed separately. And at the time, the cardiologist for Bossy billed separately, but the GI and the Neuro billed as part of the same group as the NICU dr.

    You need to stop playing the victim. You are a grown man, and a father. Bills are part of life. And guess what...there will be more over the years that you won't be able to predict. You won't be able to predict when Baby falls because she is playing on the jungle gym and slips. Or when she is riding her bike and crashes.

    You won't be able to predict if you will need a root canal or the wife will need something.

    This is can't predict it. All the more reason to get your $hit together so that you can handle it.

  5. I got way more bills when I was expecting too after the birth of Baby Girl, and she was a full-term baby. As a person who deals with medical bills as part of my job, you can always call up the billing office and ask for more time to pay or try to negotiate your bills. Some places will give you a 20% reduction without too much trouble.

    Just my 2 cents--if you do plan to have a kid in the future, look into AFLAC for your state. I don't know how Texas law is, but in our state it's a "well baby" state meaning the child is covered by mom's insurance for 30 days. This includes supplemental insurance. When Baby Girl was born, I received checks from AFLAC totallying almost $6,700. That was cash I turned around and used to pay the bills, bought some things I needed for nursing and things the baby neede, then I threw at student loans.

  6. Perhaps planning out a tier'd approach to financing would work for you.
    Tier 1 would be the things you HAVE TO PAY (mortgage and taxes, utilities, insurance, medical bills and basic food supplies).

    Tier 2 would be the things that make life comfortable (a modest clothing budget, cable and internet, a small restaurant budget, gifts for baby girl for birthday/christmas).

    Tier 3 are the luxuries (gifts for extended family/friends, fashion accessories, new furniture, weekends away, stuff like that).

    Figure out exactly how much income you make. Deduct a small amount for savings (maybe $100/month to start). Deduct a reasonable amount for debt repayment (maybe $300/month).

    Next, cover Tier 1 expenses.

    If there's anything left, split it in three - take one third for MORE debt repayment, one third for Tier 2, and then split the last third in half for Tier 3 and further debt repayment.

    So, for example, after Tier 1 expenses are paid, let's say you have $600 left. Take $200 and put it towards debt, take $200 and put it towards Tier 2 expenses, then take the remaining $200 - split it into $100 for debt and the final $100 for Tier 3. This way you are hitting your debt while still covering *some* of the lower tier'd expenses.

    Of course, YOU decide what belongs in each Tier based on your values and your priorities, but you can't be unrealistic if you want to make such an approach work... then again, it might just be too complicated... I don't know...

    All I do know is that when we were in debt, there wasn't anything I wasn't willing to do to get out of debt, including taking a very good look at where we were wasting money and how to cut back. I was committed to getting out of debt so my family could have a secure and stable future. We have 4 children to support and raise, and cumulatively THEY use 30-35% of our take home income. If you WANT to cut back and make the future secure for your family, you WILL find a way. Keep trying!

  7. I agree with a lot of what mysti said, except for a lot of it being a failure to plan part. Nobody plans for a premature baby. I do think it is time to call the insurance and find out what your out of pocket maximum is. Then you will know when the end is in sight. It does sound like maybe these are physician charges and not hospital?