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When Things Are Beyond Words

LaptopI’ve given up. Not given up hope, but given up trying to talk to Aetna. The manager we spoke to Wednesday and called back and left a voicemail with Thursday returned my call yesterday afternoon. More than an hour later, I was a wreck of a human being.

I was moments away from speaking to the President – Mark Bertolini – when his screener said “she was supposed to have taken care of this for you,” and transferred me to someone who said the plan I was on showed Pulmozyme as a Tier 2 med on a 3-tier open formulary plan. The system says I’m on a 4-tier plan, so Pulmozyme is a Tier 4 “specialty drug” and I was never able to get that other manager on the phone again because I didn’t get her ID number.

I’ve relinquished my control of the situation. I clearly can’t do anything to help things with my existing plan, so my brain and emotions have turned a corner to new ideas. I have not just sat idly by and let this happen to me; just the opposite – I’ve worked the situation until I was shaking and talking like a crazy person.

Now I have to let the system (the insurance regulators) do its thing pursuing the angle that we were illegally terminated from my old plan and not given options to pick a new one nor given a benefits book for my new plan. What “winning” that case means for me, I have absolutely no clue, so we are planning for the worst (they permanently terminate my plan and any future plans for me) and hoping for the best (I get a free plan for life and automatic approval of any drug for life at a set copay).

I’m almost okay with the worst-case scenario, [Read more…]

Cystic Fibrosis – the Financial Deal

Living LargeI was sitting at my desk on the Interwebs minding my own business when Jessica Link (@chronicuriosity) asked me a relevant question and made me go and think about my life some more. 😉 Good job, Jessica. She was in grad school until she got a job,  is well-motivated, has no debt, and no long-term relationship prospects for married insurance, and, of course, CF. I think that’ about covers her situation, with the question of how to budget for unexpected medical expenses, plan for retirement, and generally how I got by single. I hope this answers a lot of questions about finances while dealing with CF. If I missed something or glossed over something too much, please let me know.

Let’s dive in

Well, we can get that last one out of the way rather quickly. I was a miserable financial failure as a single. I didn’t get my act together until a few months before we got married, and even then, it took a lot of adjustment to kick my old habits and submit to the realization that the situation needed my full attention. We still owed some credit card money from my past stupidity and I still owed on my used car, but we knocked out that car within 5 months and freed up a couple of hundred a month for some breathing room.

We have learned quite a few principles along the way and, while we aren’t rolling in money, we aren’t lacking anything. The rules for finances are the same, only modified to prepare us for bigger hits. We’ve both been through a finance class that helped us budget some, but not completely. I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts (his books are excellent for all) for over a year now and have heard the principles played out enough with both the trauma of being risky or foolish and the cheers of successfully managing money. I’ve been saddened and immensely motivated by the callers and now even more motivated by watching the show “The Secret Millionaire.” I wrote about that effect on me here.

[Read more…]

CF Fatboy Is Mildly Depressed

DepressedI’m sorry to make this a rant/sob story of the likes of Beautiful’s today, but we’re a team, and we are in this together. What affects one of us, no matter how opposite the other is in demeanor, time wears the other either up or down until we have a celebration day or a pity party with both of us immovable until even Fatboy breaks down and cries.

When we got married, we did our budget within the first month and were not able to make the numbers match up, but we somehow made it work. We out-earned our expenses. What got us ahead were career advancements and career moves with advancements. Our expenses stayed the same until 2 major life events in the last 2 years of our almost 4 years of marriage:

  1. Buying our townhome
  2. Fatboy going self-employed

There’s some good, bad, and ugly in those two events that look like this. This is where any but of sob story ends and it’s pure facts.
[Read more…]

Fatboy Discusses His Health Insurance

Demote: Socialism + Healthcare by ~JFox343

Demote: Socialism + Healthcare by ~JFox343

Some people have asked me in comments and via my contact form about my health insurance, so I thought I’d put my story here for everyone’s benefit. To this day, and I imagine forevermore, my article: Fatboy’s Take on the Healthcare Reform Bill will remain one of the most popular pieces on here. Things to keep in mind regarding this information:

  • I live in Florida
  • I’ve never been on disability anything
  • I’ve never had a lapse in health insurance coverage

I’ve been on COBRA insurance several times in my career while switching jobs and had an individual policy with the company after I decided to convert it once before. We’ve done it again, so now I have a $5M policy with the same insurance company I’ve had since 2000, but my lifetime limit has reset every time I go onto a company plan and back onto an individual policy. We’re at about $60k so far – no sweat – but going back to my first insurance policy, I never gave any of that any thought.
[Read more…]