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What CFers Do: Mail Bills to Medical Places

This entry is part [part not set] of 19 in the series What CFers Do

Bills to payBeautiful finished doing the bills Sunday evening and put them on the kitchen counter for mailing tomorrow. She started laughing as she flipped through the pile a little while later, noting that they were all for medical bills that were still too “dark ages” to let us pay online like every other bill we have.

“That’s what CFers do,” I said. “I guess I have my post for tomorrow now. Thanks!”

I’ll be straight with you, it’s really hard to stay on a budget with CF. There are two major unknowns every month unless you’re a lucky son of a gun who has some 100% coverage, including co-pays year-round: groceries and medical. We buy BOGO (buy one, get one free) specials of everything we normally use and stock up long enough to last until the next sale, so we reduce our bill by about 25% on average. “Medical” is all over the board until we hit our annual out-of-pocket maximum, then the only variable is the number of co-pays I will encounter. For next year, we plan on having the entire year’s out-of-pocket expenses saved up in a savings account at our credit union just for those when they come.

You can imagine our surprise in March when we started receiving bills for my home IVs because I thought that the Rx plan re-started in January, but the medical benefits re-started on our plan anniversary of April 1st. Nope! We owed starting then and now for everything that was going to happen for the rest of the year. Talk about sticker shock! We thought we still had a few more months of everything just being co-pays since we’d met our limit for the year before. At least we were all set to hit our limit earlier this year. We should be within a couple of hundred dollars now – before August – to give us a few months’ respite from a major unpredictable expense.

Until then, we get these bills and have to keep on paying them until we hit our maximum. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a train.

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  1. Cysticgal says

    I was going to tweet last night #thingscfersdo “send back medical bills without paying them.”

  2. Ha! We always at least call and tell them that we can only make a partial payment on their 4-digit bill at this time. We did get one company to take 20% off if we paid it in full, so we took that deal after I got it in writing. 2011 should be a good year for us as far as being prepared this time around.

  3. MiddleAgedLady says

    It's a huge downer, isn't it? I got a bill recently for $640 that I didn't recognize. It was for home health care in April of LAST year and they are just now billing me for my part. Too bad I can't kick their claim to the curb because they were too slow to bill, like Aetna does…. 🙁

  4. Yeah – our bill for that 2 weeks of home IVs was something like $1,200 and we thought it was free! That was the frustrating part of it. They took at least 6 weeks to bill us, too, but it was because Aetna was slow on returning some of their requests. I was getting EOBs in the e-mail every 3-4 days for about a month. LOL! Oh well, that was a huge chunk out of our annual maximum.