Quick Update

I have been gone for so long that I don't know if anyone ever reads this blog anymore. But if there is someone out there, here is some quick update.

During the last couple of months we spent a boat load of money on medical bills. The total came up to a little more than $15,000. About $4,000 was covered by insurance and so a little over $11,000 was out of pocket. The lady in the business office of our provider was very helpful and sat with us to review the financial costs and possible ways to get reimbursement from the insurance company for some more money. So I have filed claims for another $6,000 or so. Hopefully, at least a part of it will be reimbursed.

So far the experience with the insurance company is mixed. On the "good" side, two of my initial claims (for $163 and $192) were approved. On the "bad" side, the claims adjusters are a bunch of jokers!!!! While the first check (for $163) was sent to me correctly, they sent the second check (for $192) to the provider! After a very long phone call with the customer service we found out why the claim showed as approved/paid on the website but I did not see the money even after a month! The agent gave me two options - (a) I file a case, they will investigate, then they will send a letter to the provider requesting that the money sent by mistake be returned and after they reclaim the wrongly addressed check, they will cut a new check for me, or (b) I contact the provider directly, explain to them that I have paid twice for the services - once out of pocket and once via insurance - and then request a refund. Since option (a) will likely drag on for months, I chose option (b) and spoke to the same lady at the business office of my provider. She was very understanding and has agreed to cut the refund check to me.

Out of the remaining claims, I think we have a good chance of the claims being approved for about $4,000. The rest of it, I just filed since the bills were lying around and the worst that could happen is that the claims will be denied. I hope the claims falls in the hands of the same moron adjuster who goofed up my earlier claims and sent the check to the provider. Who knows... he might just approve all those other claims too that are at a high risk for being denied :)

So our out of pocket tally will finally be in the range of $7,000 to $11,000.

For the first time in a long while though, we went through the expenses without worrying or fretting about it too much. With everything else going on around us, that was such a boon! I did get a bit anxious for a couple of days when I found out just how much the bills could be, but I think that was more out of habit than actual financial reasons. And we have paid off all the credit card bills and are not carrying over any debt. That feels real nice too.

As for the money spent, every single penny spent was well worth it! Like I mentioned before, it was an elective procedure and a bit of a gamble at that. Statistically, the chances that the procedure would work for us was under 50%. We could have probably saved ourselves a lot of money if we had waited some more time to see if the situation could be resolved with other less expensive, but less effective procedures. Or we could have seeked medical attention in our home country where the costs are about 1/5th of the costs here in the US. But in the end we chose to take the gamble. If we do not use money for the things we really want, and are not willing to pay the premium for the peace of mind of doing things the way we like it and on our schedule, then what good is the money for? Luckily, for us, things worked out! I am still a little anxious, but it is getting more and more real with each passing week, and each follow up visit to my doctor. If any of you readers are in the same unfortunate situation as us, you have likely figured out what this is all about. Keep your chin up, and in the end it will all work out. For the rest of you who have no clue of what I am talking about, count your blessings, say your prayers and kiss your kids once more tonight! You have no idea how fortunate you are for being so normal :)

*Image Credit: Photograph by joyrex [via Flickr Creative Commons]

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Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

I've got you on my feed reader and was glad to see you posted.

God bless you and good luck-my SIL went through all this a few years ago, but all turned out well, after a while. I hope it's the same for you.

cooper said...

i'm an ag following your blog. good luck to you and keep up the great posts!

paidtwice said...

If sounds like it was successful!! Good luck and it'll all be worth it. :) :) :) :) :)

I had no clue you were doing this but I am very very excited now :) :) :)

Tanya said...

Keeping my fingers crossed!

ispf said...

Jenn: Thanks for the wishes! I fervently hope it will all work out as well...

Cooper: Howdy! Glad to know there is an aggie reader out there :)

Paidtwice: I am very very excited too, but tempering it with some caution... can't wait to be declared out of the woods so I can start shouting it out from the rooftops :)

Tanya: I keep my fingers crossed so much these days, when I am through with this, I might have trouble uncrossing them :) Thanks for keeping yours crossed too :)

SavingDiva said...

Good luck! I hope it "sticks."

ispf said...

savingdiva: Thanks!!! You made me smile - a big happy grin :)

Actually, it's "stuck" - just waiting to ensure that it stays that way..... (There, my fingers are crossed again... I swear by the time all this is done, I will not be able to uncross my fingers anymore!)

Marie said...

I just found your blog through a link of another favorite blog a few days ago. Just wanted you to know someone else has their fingers crossed!! And yes, no matter what, it is SOOOOOOOO worth it!!!! Good luck and hope everything stays where its supposed to!!

Strange Bird said...

OMG! Good luck! :)

EJW said...

Good luck! I'll be checking back in 30-some weeks to see the results of the best $11K you'll ever spend.

Also, keep plugging away at the claims. We went through a lot of "we don't cover that" and if you're persistent, a lot will be paid for.

stocksshock said...
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