From the Blogposts » inbox

An Informational Breakthrough

Bills, bills, billsWe’ve been receiving medical bills in the mail since March, and it’s been freaking us out. We assumed it was because my Vest got written off from last year, we had not met our deductible and everyone was cashing in all at once. Each had to be the first to get their money before we met our out-of-pocket limit. It was a logical conclusion, but not correct.

When in doubt, look at your policy

We finally started looking over our policy during dinner last night. After we got to the correct page, we were still dumb-founded for a little while until certain words stuck out: calendar year. Since my company insurance (same health insurance as I have now) was based on the company open-enrollment date of April to April, we had assumed that the deductible resets on April 1st. Wrong. The deductible re-starts in January, BUT the good news is that the Vest write-off ended up being a life-saver.

This is going to be a good year

So, this year we will be done with medical expenses, minus co-pays and premiums now, plus the time it takes us to pay these guys the money they’ve invoiced us for. It shouldn’t be long at all because business is really picking up again after taxes and graduation is in 2 weeks from today!

We hate surprise bills, and it looks like this is the end of them. One more is on the way – and maybe one more after that one, but that’s it for the year.

The plan for next year

We are going to set up another savings account to fill with our maximum out-of-pocket expenses for next year so we can just pay out from there when the time comes in 2011. I’ve got me a smart woman, wouldn’t you say? Beautiful is a babe and a brain.

Fight the System Because You Might Win

Last August I became the proud owner of the inCourage Vest system. It’s lightyears beyond the huge Hill-Rom unit that you need to hold down on the little pneumatic pedal with your hand or foot. THAT stupid pedal was the main reason I hadn’t used the Hill-Rom vest in over 8 years. By the way, it’s in the garage if you want it.

This machine is a thing of beauty. It fits under our end table and you push one button and it cycles through a range of frequencies every 2 minutes for 30 minutes without any further interaction needed.

Our private insurance policy, which I got after COBRA because I had a continuous coverage certificate that negates any pre-existing condition clause, has a $3,000 out-of-pocket max per year. This wonderful invoice for $1,200 pushed us over the out-of-pocket limit for the year, but by the time we got everything straightened out with their billing, we just didn’t have the extra money to pay the bill now that we got our tax paperwork back from my CPA. Business was good last year… too good for the estimated payments and savings we made, so we owe a nice chunk to the IRS. Combine that with really rough February sales, we were drawing from that nice savings account we had in place for emergencies.

We requested a hardship waiver from them since my insurance company already paid them more than $10k and I felt that they had enough money for this device. It was a couple of hours of work to fill out the form and get our W2’s together, but to save $1,200 we “made” something like $300/hr!

The best news: I have a terrific vibrato when I sing with the vest on!