Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Financial Effect of Illness

Just to update quickly, I'm feeling better. Every day I'm healthier and stronger and regain more of my eye function. So... yay! (We're also having some signs that labor may be coming soon, so double yay!)



And now that we're beyond the "urgent" part of my healthcare, the financial worries come in. I went in to the hospital with a $1,000 emergency fund and just under $2,000 saved for the baby (which was to cover my maternity leave and medical expenses for the birth). I had counted on having another month of work to save more before the baby's arrival.



But. Now we have another entire hospital bill to deal with. And I used up all of my sick leave. And all of my vacation. And am on to unpaid leave (though I am back to work, but not full time). And I've had to take leave of my two part-time jobs. Because I just can't do them.



I have health insurance. I have GREAT health insurance. But 20% of really expensive is still pretty darn expensive, if you know what I mean. Sigh.

17 comments:

huddtoo said...

Medical expenses are so tough. Sort of sad that we have insurance, and still have to pay so much. It's tough. I'm glad you have it though, or it would hurt more. You can work out a payment plan, esp since you cannot work as you had planned. They will take something over nothing, I work in a hospital, I know.

You'll be OK. You guys do great.

Hugs to you all. Hope that little baby comes on her terms...nice and easy at that! Hope your eye is getting a little better. Take care of you at this point!

Sarah said...

Hang in there Tenille! I'm glad you're feeling better. And, pretty soon you get to have a baby!

Keep healing up!

zdoodlebub said...

I know things aren't going according to your financial plan, your painstakingly well-thought and responsible plan. That sucks.

But just think if you didn't have ANY of that money saved?

I can already tell that you are not going to stick your head in the sand, plug your ears and sing lalalalala when it comes to your finances. Which is what many people in your situation would do. And then things would just snowball and get worse and worse. One hospital stay can put many families in financial ruin.

But you! You are going to get healthy, have a healthy baby, get used to life as a family of five and then get refocused on your financial goals.

I'm so glad to hear that you are feeling better. Scary stuff you've been through. Prayers that things will continue to look up all the way around.

Carrie said...

Hey Tenille! I can tell you not to worry, but I know that I would be concerned too. But I think you are like me... you really are better prepared than you think and even though it seems like it will be a huge burden, God will help you get through it! I'm just SOOOO thankful he kept you safe through those horrible headaches. I know He will get you though this too! I'll be praying!

I SO understand about using up all your sicktime. *sigh* I just can't seem to keep sick time and vacation time accumulated. We've been saying for two years that I need to save up for when we are able to have a baby... and lol... somehow it just all ends up getting used! Oh well!

I'll be praying for you gal! I hope you are doing much much better and aren't having any bad headaches now!!

sincerely,
Carrie @ Heart of a Servant
http://www.2livinglightly.blogspot.com

Stefan, Sarah and Lukka said...

when we delivered, we didnt know this, but the hospital told us that they had certain financial guidelines called "forgiveness guidelines"...and I remember they were a CRAZY amount of money for people to have part of their bill (after insurance)forgiven. You just give them your last year's tax info, and then they base it strictly on that...if we had made $700.00 LESS the year before we would have been forgiven 100%!!! BUT, we only had to pay 25% of it, which is great, anyway....BUT that's only for the hospital (anethesia/peds didn't count) So look into that option! They obviously don't tell you that until they realize you can't pay the big chunk at once...so it's worth a try!

Amnesty said...

I'm so sorry to read about how sick you've been, and now hospital bills on top of that!
I have no health insurance and we used up all our savings this summer with DH unemployed and me on maternity leave. Something like that would destroy us, and I'm afraid of it all the time! I know it sucks, but at least you HAD savings and insurance...hospitals will work with you on payments, and medical bills don't affect your credit the same way other bills do if you're late with them (BTDT)

Li loves David said...

I'm so happy you're feeling better! It really stinks that you have to go through all this. If only the US would get its act together on healthcare. Gee, if only there were a role model, like maybe, oh, every other civilized country in the world!

Some good advice in the other comments. I never would have thought of asking for a payment plan. So maybe your whole savings doesn't have to take a hit.

Hang in there!

Mama Squirrel said...

Hang in there--praying for a safe delivery and full recovery for you.

Super Heather - aka Mom said...

Hey there,

I have worked in the health insurance industry for over 8 years. My advice is read/know your plan benefits and review your EOBs that come in the mail after they process your claims. Mistakes are made more often than you would believe.

Do check with the hospital about a payment plan or forgivness plan & their finanical guidelines. But, do not stop there -- you will get seperate bills from all the doctors you saw, radiologists, & labs. Call all of them -- they don't bill all inclusive just because you were IP hospital. Keep in mind that the OB doctor you saw as IP hospital will NOT be considered "regular" maturnity claim b/c of the illness it is considered a "complication" and most times doesn't fall under the maturnity provision of your plan. Most times it will be paid same as any other sickness.

Finally, you should have qualified for STD (short term disability) at your full-time job. If they do not offer it, you should look into Aflack or something like it. STD is very important to have. I have it through them and I also have their ER benefit too which means anytime someone in my family goes to the ER I get a check for $100 later that week. I pay less than $20 a month for both of these.

If you have any questions let me know.
Heather

Stacey said...

I am very sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I too found out some disturbing news and being pregnant has halted any kind of treatment until the baby is born. I found out two months ago I have stage 2 cervical cancer. Because I hadn't gone to the doctor like I was supposed to nobody knows how long I have had it or how fast it is going. Being pregnant won't allow the tests or treatment needed. Just when you think that you have got everything "worried" about there always seems to be something sneaking up on you!!! I always thank God that the baby is okay and pray we'll get through it. Stay strong!!! You too will get through it!!!

Super Heather - aka Mom said...

Hey, can you please pass on my well wishes to Stacey? Her blog isn't public & I am wishing her well.

Still a firm believer. Bad or good.

Love,
Heather

Jamie said...

I hear ya! Our bills keep racking up. This is the first time I've had insurance that I actually have to pay a percentage of (vs. just paying copays!). Even my meds now cost 50+ a month where they used to be under 20. Grrr...

You are awesome at budgeting, so I know you will make it work!

Good luck and I can't wait to see pictures of baby!

Cheers!
Jamie

Amnesty said...

Tenille, I hope you're just enjoying your new baby, and that's why you haven't posted in a week!
Jamie, Walgreen's has a prescription "club card." It costs $20 for the year, and most meds are $20 if you have it. My husband's Zoloft was almost $40/month, and now is just $20, so it's helped us a lot! Other pharmacies probably have similar programs if there's no Walgreen's in your area.

Jess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tenille said...

Stacey - I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Please know that Chris and I wish you the very best!

Tenille said...

Everyone - thanks so much for your good wishes! It seems that I've now fully recovered!!!! Well, until the hospital bill comes and I have a heart attack. :)

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