Thursday, February 21, 2008

Paying Medical Bills

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If you have been following along with la vida loca (that's Spanish for our "crazy life" for you English-only speakers), then you know we have become very well acquainted with the staff at the hospital in the past three months.

If you don't believe me, go here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

See what I mean?

All those hospital visits were enough fun to last a lifetime, but what pushed them into the "barrel of monkeys" category was that our health insurance isn't the best.

What I mean by that is we use the term "coverage" loosely. As in, the only "coverage" it provides is for severed limbs. If it is on the non-dominant side. Providing only between 2 and 3 quarts of blood was lost. If you provide proof of the blood lost in a recyclable container. If the event happened on a Tuesday.

So that means that freakish medical occurrences like having a baby are not covered.

There is good news, though, and this is where my frugal tip comes in! We have found that the hospital was willing to work out a payment plan in which we received a discount for being what they called "private pay". In our case, this meant that if we agreed to pre-pay for the delivery of our baby, we would receive 50 percent off of the normal fee!

We also remind our family doctor that office visits are not covered and he usually gives us a discount as well. He also gives us samples of expensive prescriptions if he has enough on hand to cover an illness.

If you have medical bills that are difficult to pay, talk to the business office and see if they are willing to give you a discount or at least work out a payment plan. We have found that most of the time they are willing to help us get our debt paid off.

Now, we only owe the hospital 21 million dollars and 57 cents.


About the 57 cents.

Be sure to check out Biblical Womanhood for more frugal tips.


M. Stevenson said...

We had NO insurance when my husband had to go to the ER with chest pains, and the bills were over $5000. It obviously wasn't a "pre-planned" visit, and we were financially strapped at the time.

A good friend of mine explained to me NOT to pay the bills right away, but to call them and explain your situation, and work out a payment plan.(This process takes months, but the hospital won't give up as long as they know how to contact you.)

In our situation, we were also able to claim "financial hardship," in which case the doctors and hospital determined how much to reduce or forgive what was due, about 80%! THEN we worked out a payment plan and began to pay what we could. It took a couple of years and a lot of humility to submit financial records and explain ourselves, but what a great feeling to finally get it paid off and to trust the Lord through!

Nikki said...

Would you sponsor me for Blogads? I'm not sure what that entails. It doesn't cost money for you to sponsor me does it? Or do you just give them your approval of me? You do approve of me, don't you?

Holly said...

Well, yeah, hey...I want in on the blog ad thing too...even though I know nothing about it. I just don't want to miss a thing.

I love your writing style, Connie. So clever, so funny. Thank you for the tips about the hospital bills. I can use the info!

And no, I've not forgotten about the review for Smockity Frocks! :) Soon!

Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks said...

I have NO idea how to sponsor someone....I'll see what I can figure out.

BarbaraLee said...

Doesn't it make you wonder how much medical cost really is? Just think country doctors use to get paid at times with food for their services.

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