Friday, October 7, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (and One Step Forward, Two Steps Back)

 This has been a disheartening and just depressing day.  A day when your normally not very cuddly cat comes up and sits on you and purrs to try and calm you down type of day (despite her disdainful expression she was actually purring when I took this).

It started out with my son waking up at five am so I ended up dozing the last two hours before getting up for the day.  Well hour and a half I should say as then my daughter came in and complained about her stomach hurting, and unlike a lot of other times when I could see she's over-exaggerating her lot in life, this time she was actually legitimately not feeling good.  So, I got up and got her a Zophran and prayed that it worked for her to go to school today as it took two days for my snow tires to come in and get studded and I desperately just wanted to get them onto my car and out of the way for the winter.  Luckily after a lot of digging around about how she was feeling we figured she could make it, especially once she figured out that if I have to pick her up early from school I have to pick her brother up early from school and he needs the therapy and activity OF school and such (she hadn't thought of it from that perspective before).  I could tell she wasn't feeling up to 100%, but prayed we could get through the day as I had a lot to do and knew even if she was up to going with me she'd have more fun at school.

So, I get the kids dropped off and head off to get my tires on the car.  That took three hours.  Whoever put the tires on my car somehow didn't fit all of the summer tires in the trunk (first time that ever happened) and he stuck one in the back seat, which led to a lot of me flinching as I drove home with it rolling from one side of the back seat to the other.  Finally get home and get the tires unloaded out of the way and then I figure before I run to the bank (and subsequently run home after that and get lunch) I'd check the mail.

Man was that a stupid mistake.  When I got the mail my appetite for the day was shot.

In the mail was a bill from the sleep center where my husband had gotten his CPAP machine from.  When he originally went in for the appointment to get evaluated for sleep apnea, his doctor and the sleep center doctor both assured him that our insurance would cover the cost of everything having to do with the CPAP machine because it was preventative care.  And here, in my mailbox, was a bill for over 3000.00 staring me in my waxen shell shocked face.

I called my husband to ask that he handle things with the sleep center as he was the one who talked to his doctor and the sleep center people and everyone else and I figured he was the one qualified to handle it if righteous anger was going to be involved in any way as I had no idea what was going on, but I quickly realized that he didn't have time or the energy to deal with it (he's not big on dealing with any financial stuff,  normally anyway).  So, I headed over to the sleep center in person to see what I could figure out as I didn't want to do it over the phone if I could help it.

Well, an hour later and many phone calls between the very nice office lady, her billing department in Anchorage and our insurance company and basically it came down to that we got screwed by our insurance company.  What everyone was assured would be covered by preventative care, wasn't.  They instead just slapped every charge from the sleep center onto our deductible and that was all they were willing to do, period.

I sat and fought tears most of that hour.  Especially when I found out that they normally would require us to pay the bill within 10 months at the sleep center and explained to the lady there was no way we could do it as 300.00 a month might as well be 3000.00 a month for a payment right now as we just plain don't have it.  I explained about the dental bills and our financial situation and said it just wasn't going to happen. The billing lady, hearing all of this over speaker phone was really understanding and did some voodoo on her end and asked if I could somehow swing 100.00 a month.  Even though I'm not really sure how I'm going to do it until the one chunk of dental bills gets paid off in December (as that will free up 100.00 a month) I said yes.

My husband is furious about the entire situation and just wants to not pay the sleep center, but I can't blame them for what happened as they had been told an entirely different thing than what happened when it was all said and done.  And the insurance company doesn't care because all they have to do is hold out for three months and then they are out of Alaska anyway, so why WOULD they care.  I honestly blame me for this.  I was dubious about the insurance company paying for the CPAP and even though my husband kept asking the sleep center about it, I should have called our insurance myself, at least four times, gotten names and answers and figured out if what they had been told was true or not and gotten all of the details.  But, I didn't.  And now I'm paying for it.  Literally.

So, I cancelled my physical next week as there is no way I'm going to be able to afford labs for myself on top of all of the other bills staring me in the face (such is life).  And now I know why the Good Lord put all of the deals over the summer my way as we're going to need them as money just got that much tighter around here.

I just got done doing all of that, took a 20 minute nap whether I wanted to or not (when I get depressed I get even more tired than normal), got up and poured myself a quick bowl of cereal because I hadn't eaten anything yet, and then the call comes in from the school to go and pick up the daughter with her stomach problems.  Which led to me having to cancel speech this afternoon.

So, yeah, I am thoroughly, thoroughly depressed tonight.  Sigh.

Things will settle, my brain will somehow start to function past the panic and depression again and I'll once again figure things out, but for tonight I'm just bone deep tired.

I'm sure there are some bright points to dig up for the week though, so let's list some of those.

1.  I called around when I went to order my snow tires and found the outfit we normally used were, once again, the cheapest option.  And snow tires were 200.00 less than the last time I bought them, so that was a nice find for sure.

2.  When I realized how tight money was going to be at the beginning of the month (because of last month with all the health issues and things) I went on Amazon and redid my order.  I cancelled the peanut free nuts I'd ordered and used the 12.00 associate fees I had to put toward the bulk Parmesan cheese I wanted to order.  When I redid the order I also found that the Parmesan cheese had gone down in price, which saved me a couple extra bucks.  It was a nice find.   I also went through and figured out exactly what I needed on Amazon vs. what the cheapest option was.  For instance I'd ordered thyme in bulk, but then started thinking about it and realized that a 2.00 jar of thyme on Amazon would supplement my thyme probably through the entire winter and would work okay.  And I'd wanted to get Cream of Wheat for breakfast on the weekends (my husband likes it) and had found that Bob's Red Mill brand is super cheap on Amazon, but you get a ton of it (like 4 bags).  I just cancelled that and got the box of Cream of Wheat at the store for 4.99.  It's way more expensive per ounce, but still 7.00 cheaper to buy just the one box at the store, so that's what I did for now.  Just because it was more per ounce didn't mean it wasn't good enough to get us through.  As a result of doing things like this I probably shaved about 1/2 the cost off of my Amazon order items.

Now that I'm realizing how bad money is going to be I'm doubly glad I did that.

3.  We cut my son's hair this week, which with my arm I've been dreading.  This time my son was super awesome compared to how he has been in the past getting a haircut.  Normally my husband and I hold him down and just get his head as well as we can with the clippers, but this time he cried and got mad about the hair down the back of his neck, but was super good compared to how he's been in the past.  And as soon as we pulled his shirt off after it was all over and got him in the shower he was just fine (normally he's mad for HOURS afterwards at us).  It was definitely an upper.

4.  I got my flu vaccination this week.  I got it at the store pharmacy at Carrs and got my 10% off a grocery store order coupon for my trouble of getting it there.  It's good till like July of next year, so I'm going to hold onto it until I need to spend a decent amount on groceries and use it then.

I didn't use it this week as I spent a whopping 30.00 on groceries this week.  I just got the basics (soda, chips and milk) and called it good, although I did manage to get some au gratin potatoes (store brand) with some pocket money I had, so I got four boxes of those for 5.00 (normally I'd be a Betty Crocker snob when it came to Au Gratin potatoes, but cheap is cheap and they taste okay, so that's what we're using this winter).  And I did get the aforementioned cream of wheat in with the shopping, so I guess I did get some pantry things this week despite the small amount spent on groceries.

5.  I traded some #10 cans of dried soup mix that I'd had from the LDS pantry for years (I liked it so I was holding onto it since they don't sell it anymore) for some canned fruit with a friend of mine.  I traded two cans of soup mix for a pantry pack of fruit cocktail, a pantry pack of peaches and a pantry pack of pears.  I'm thinking between what I have canned myself, the canned goods I bought and those that we're set for fruit for the winter (and the expiration date on the fruit is still good for another year.  She had to downsize the stores of things she had in the garage and was moving things out to an unheated shed, so she wanted more freeze friendly foods).  Hopefully, with the rhubarb and things at least fruit variety won't get too terribly boring.

6.  I enjoyed long phone calls with my mom and step mom this week.  Having unlimited long distance for cheap is never going to get old for me.  It has paid for itself many, many times over.

7.  Even though I couldn't be at a friend's wedding I got to enjoy seeing pictures of it that another friend of mine took.  It was wonderful seeing pictures of her so happy on her big day.

8.  I went to the used store and looked around for a back up costume for my daughter in case the mermaid costume wasn't to her liking (which I think it'll be fine, but always good to be prepared).  I managed to find a home made dress that someone had donated that looked like the pink dress Ariel wore in "The Little Mermaid" for .50!  My daughter loves it and is happy to wear it if the mermaid outfit doesn't happen for some reason, so I consider that a victory.

9.  I started gutting out our hallway closet and figuring out other things that need to be done around here.  I've found my son is just trashing our video shelves downstairs (pulling videos down and yanking TONS of them upstairs with him to the point we have piles going all over all the time) and we just need to move the shelves upstairs to keep an eye on them, so I'm working on finding room for those.  When we pull those upstairs I want to move our china cabinet downstairs as it'll go better with the den decor anyway and then the one cabinet my husband and I bought and didn't fit into the kitchen is going in the den to put my sewing things in instead of the dresser I have there because it needs to get out of the garage so my husband can put the snow blower in.  It's going to be busy around here for a bit.

And there you are folks.  My week in a nutshell.  How's everything going with you?


  1. That is very discouraging, I'm sure! I'm sorry that happened to you, but I know you will find a way to get through it. You are a very resourceful person. That being said, I'm sure you get tired of NEEDING to be a resourceful person sometimes, so I just want to encourage you to hang in there. So, here comes some encouragement!

    Your hands are very full with the children, and you are running on very little sleep. Adding that to the financial worries makes for a recipe for depression. So, in my opinion, you have a good reason to feel tired, and upset. I think you are very wise to recognize that and, doing so, will be able to fight against it so much better. The little naps are a great idea. It's so much easier to face big issues if you are getting some rest. I've had a lot of practice in fighting those "low" feelings. Focusing on the positive things (no matter how small) is a great idea, and it has worked for me as well. You have found quite few things that did go well, and that you can take control of, such as the grocery shopping, and negotiating the bill down to $100. Sadly, for me, what I would "take control of" would be the son's bag of chips and any chocolate chips I owned! So, good job for choosing more wisely than that!:) Prayer is a very personal thing, but I can attest that it has helped me tremendously as well.

    Anyway, I have confidence in you that you can make it through this new challenge.

    1. Thanks, Becky. I really appreciate the encouragement. It helps :). And I might or might not have raided a couple handfuls of chocolate chips when I started doing a in depth pantry inventory last night ;).

      I know that there is a reason under Heaven and Earth that God is doing this and believe you me I'm praying hard about it for some guidance as to why and asking that He help me to pay off bills vs. getting more stacking up to deal with. I'd like to climb out of the hole instead of trying to dig through the Earth to China, but darned it if that is what I have to do to see daylight I'll do it. I'm stubborn enough *laugh*.

  2. I know you have huge anxiety about living off your pantry stock, as you've had to do this many times before because of stressful finances. However, you have done a great job preparing for the long winter. Do you think you can commit to living off it for the next few months, until the dental bill is paid? You only have to come up with $100 more a month until December. All things considered, if anyone can do this, you can, Erika!

    Perhaps you can reduce the grocery funds to $50 every other week and just get the very basic essentials to get you through. I find that if I do my shopping every other week, I spend less on impulse items or those "great deals" that I stumble across. To fill the need to shop during the other week, use that time to bake items for the week (even freeze some for the next week if you can) like cookies, squares or muffins for lunch items and pies, cobblers, cake or crisps for desserts. You could even make it your "try a new recipe or craft" day just to make life more interesting. It will make the commitment to living of the pantry a bit more fun, instead of seeing it as a negative.

    Remember, big deep breaths and relax. You've got this, Erika! I believe in you!!!!

    1. Yeah, I kept thinking on how to make grocery shopping that much tighter, but I just can't realistically go down below 50.00 per week. Between the chips and soda my son blows through and the milk, it just eats up that 50.00. Unless there's a super sale on one of items and then I can USUALLY get by at about 40.00 for the week. I'm working on figuring in it out though. I just recently found that our local bulk store SOMETIMES has the Doritos Alvah insists on in a big bulk bag for 7.00 and some change and it is way more cost effective than buying the little bags. If I can hopefully scope out when they get those bags in during the week (as they sell out quick) then I could pop in and get him a big bag of Cheetos and a big bag of Doritos, come home and parcel them into big Ziploc bags and hopefully have enough to last him the entire week for 14.00 or so. That would cut a significant chunk off the grocery bill during the week, so here's hoping I can do that.

      At this point, I don't even really have anxiety over living off the pantry as at least the pantry is well stocked, so thank God for that. Once the Parmesan cheese comes in that'll give me one of the kid's favorite meals all in the pantry (pasta, olive oil and Parmesan cheese).

      I've been sitting with a pad and paper all morning figuring out meals and things to bake to cut down costs. Thanks for the encouragement :).

    2. Perhaps it's time to push a little bit more with "regular food" with your son. I know this will be a fight as I've had to go to battles many times with my daughter. But maybe if the Doritos and Cheesies were not readily available, he would eat more of the other food (like the cheaper but probably better for him pasta with parmesan cheese). I'm not saying get rid of them completely, just maybe say you've run out at moment or limit to one serving a day to encourage him to choose something else instead. He's not underweight right now and you won't be starving him to death like before...just encouraging him to choose cheaper and healthier options that you know he does eat.

    3. Yeah, I've tried that. Unfortunately, if you do that even a LITTLE bit with him, even portioning them onto a plate or something, his PICA just immediately gets worse and any paper items in the house get eaten, dirt and other even less edible items also start to get shoved into his mouth. Right now at school because of lack of snacking when he wants he's eating on his clothes. I'm really concerned about what he's doing to his new coat. Sigh.

  3. My health insurance does pay for most of the cpap supplies. I pay a fraction of the costs. Just sayin'.

    1. That's why I feel for the sleep center in this case too. They got blind sided by the insurance company doing what they did too as this was the first time that an insurance company HADN'T covered the costs under preventative care. Honestly, when it comes to insurance companies, nothing surprises me anymore as I remember my mom and dad getting blind sided by things when I was a kid and my dad was a government employee and had good insurance!

      The sleep center is looking into figuring out what they can do to cut the cost of the bill down for us, is just letting us pay the 100.00 during the month whenever we can afford it vs a certain day being due and they aren't going to charge us any interest at all, so I at least feel like they really are trying to work with us about this entire mess. For that I'm thankful.

  4. You've had a really tough day yesterday. Bless Becky and Rhonda for their sage advice and suggestions. Remember, this huge blip, overwhelming as it is,is temporary. Like Becky, I've found that prayer helps me tremendously and restores peace in my heart. Dorothy

  5. Since the doctors office told you the bill was covered is there any way they could at least reduce the bill? They told you one thing with the insurance, someone made a mistake. Good luck, we have had some medical expenses in the last few months and it is hard. Cheryl

  6. I agree with Cheryl. The office that assured you it would be covered should offer you a discount. Seems like the right thing to do, seeing it is their error NOT yours.

    Hugs to you :).

  7. After the cpap stuff got slapped to your deductible, how much do you have left before you meet the deductible? If you are close, you should get your physical because it should be cheap - if not free- as it is truly preventative care.

    1. Ah, they thought of that. My husband's got a separate deductible than I do. I still have about 5,000 on mine, unfortunately. This is what happens when you get cheap government insurance.

      The physical itself is covered under preventative care with the insurance company, supposedly, but MODA doesn't cover any labs and the yearly for women can cost anywhere from 500 to 700 at the current time and I'm terrified of getting nailed with THAT, and that's without any other labs, like blood work, the doctor would want to do. And I can't get any straight answers out of the insurance company from one person to another, so I gave up for now. I'm just going to do what I did BEFORE I had to deal with insurance. Save up the money, go in and if the insurance company doesn't cover anything, fine, I'll just pay it. It's safer that way.

  8. I am so sorry. This is just awful. I hate the idea of you skipping your physical. Are you sure the billing wasn't miscoded by the sleep center? That can cause this problem.

    We had a similar issue (with a smaller bill). I called my broker and complained. She assured me there was nothing to be done, so I kept complaining. She eventually agreed to call and plead my case and insurance paid the bill.

    Do you have a broker?

    1. No, we have the government healthcare through MODA. Unfortunately they are proving to be as helpful as screen doors on submarines on things. The sleep center people are working on trying to figure out a way to reduce our bill and/or get insurance to somehow change their minds and put it onto preventative care. We'll see how it goes, although I'm not holding out much hope since they've gotten no less than 3 different answers from three different people. And that was just talking to MODA yesterday. Not encouraging to say the least.

    2. Got it. I will keep you in my prayers.

      Do you participate in coke rewards? I do not, but my husband has 5 12 packs of coke and I can send you the rewards codes if you want them.

    3. Thanks for the offer, but I don't participate in them either. I used to, but then they kept upping the amount of points you had to imput to get a free 20 oz. Coke, put a limit on how many rewards you could imput in a week and started just deluging the site with all the "giveaways" you could enter and I found myself just getting frustrated every time I tried to do it. When rewards programs become more heartburn than a 20 oz. bottle of coke is worth, it's time to walk away. I had the same problem with the Kelloggs rewards. I used to do them and put in my little codes from packages and things, but now you have to scan your receipt and text it to them. Doing something like that costs me between 10 to 15 minutes on my old Tracfone, which is EXPENSIVE, so I hung that program out to dry too.

  9. Erika, I am stunned by this example of current healthcare's indifference and ineptitude! (A couple years ago, I retired from a career in nursing, and I was dismayed then by the changes I saw all around me. With the insurance companies in charge, healthcare is *not* about health and it's *not" about care. OK, stepping off the soapbox...). I understand how this blindsided you and sucked the energy/optimism right out of you, but I am incredibly impressed by your ability to get up again and see what you could do to fix it. You are one awesome woman, and don't you ever doubt it. If the insurance company is going to be annoying, you can be, too -- get on the phone and work your way up the chain of command, noting the names of the people you talk to and the times of the conversations; be very nice to anyone who seems like a potential advocate and very firm with everyone else that "no we won't pay" is not an acceptable answer. Your county in Alaska must have a resource office/person to help people sign up for the government plans; work that end, too, because there might be someone who can get you to the right person who has the authority to make a decision. Anger doesn't work; tears don't work (except with that rare person who has a heart; swearing definitely doesn't work. Consider contacting your state legislator's office for help. Yes, this all takes time, and you don't have much of that. But if you can at least chop off a chunk of that $3,000 bill, the return per hour of your time on the phone could be enormous. Sending prayers and hugs.

  10. And one more thought... I meant to say it in my earlier comment, but realized that I didn't actually use the words: appeal the insurance company's decision, and keep appealing it, all the way up the line. I love the idea to ask the CPAP provider's office to comp part of the bill since they did look into your coverage and also assured you that all would be OK. It never hurts to ask, even in writing, pleading your case that both you & they were blindsided by this turn of events. Use every government agency you possibly can, e.g. there are state agencies that oversee the behavior of insurance companies, and individual companies do not like to hear from them. The company may be ceasing business in the state of Alaska, but they *were* in business when they told the CPAP company that they would cover the claim.

  11. Erika, My heart just breaks for you and your family under these circumstances. I am so sorry. I agree with an earlier comment ... Where is the health or care in the healthcare industry? Chris

  12. Erika- I suggest to consider both appealing the insurance co (even though leaving Alaska) and to asking for a HUGE discount from the sleep center due to their error (of assuring your husband it would be covered by insurance).
    (1) If you could get the insurance company to pay even a little bit via the appeals, it would be worth your time. I know it's a huge stress and hassle, but sounds like maybe less of a stressor than coming up with $$$?
    (2) I'd also ask the sleep center for a 50% discount. Tell them you would not have had the work done if they had not assured you it would be covered by your insurance. My doctor's office actually CHECKS WITH the insurance company (does not assume) before telling me something is covered by my insurance; I think that's pretty standard procedure. Even if they don't call, they literally have a sheet of codes from each insurance company that tells them if that specific insurance company will cover a procedure in MY specific plan. If they have any doubt, they call the insurance co. It seems reasonable that you and the sleep center would both share the burden equally. (In reality, the cost to them was likely not 50% of $3000 so they won't be out any $).
    (3) In a recent post you had said you needed to replace some spices that were 14 years old (I've been there myself, lol). So maybe it was actually cheaper per ounce for the thyme if you will use it all, versus buying a big container that you wouldn't get through?
    (4) Thanks for putting your Amazon associate link on your webpage. Just had to make another work-related Amazon purchase and somehow I feel like I'm beating the system to go through your link :-)
    (5) How does your husband like the crystal light? When I stopped drinking soda (to try to be healthier), I was amazed to see that my grocery costs noticeably fell If it saves $10/month, that's 10% of what you need! As an added possible (eventual) bonus, maybe your son will be curious about what your husband is drinking (lemonade, etc) and eventually want to try what his dad is drinking sometimes too.
    (6) If your physical is covered, you might want to have it done. I always have my blood work & labs done somewhere else (cheaper), so I just take a list of what the doctor wants to have done and have it done when I can, even if it's several months later.
    Hope you have a much better week this week.

    1. I'm thinking I'm going to let my husband go in and talk to the sleep center and praying I can convince him to do so as he keeps talking about what if he just gives the machine back and things, would they write off the bill if he did that and threw a fit? I don't know, but it'd be worth a shot to see what they would do in that situation. I can't do that as I'm not the patient, so I'm hoping he gets up enough of a head of steam about this to go and fight about it.

      I feel like I'm fighting about the bill with no foundation as I don't really KNOW what conversations my husband had with the sleep center as I wasn't there, so I have a hard time getting up a full head of steam about the entire thing as I KNOW my husband can miss things in conversations like that or misunderstand and I could definitely see it when it came to insurance talk as he hasn't had insurance since he was a kid.

      The gal at the desk had some names of people she talked to at MODA and things when they first tested the waters and things and from what I can gather, MODA told them that my husband was close on his deductible so even if some charges were put onto the deductible, we wouldn't own much and such and and that most would be covered, blah blah blah. I don't know. I need my husband to handle it as he has a better ability to get ticked off about these things. When it comes to the kids I'll call and advocate for weeks if necessary but when it comes to things like this I have a problem with not knowing what is going on and I think it shows in my inability to get ticked off and determined to make it right. That's probably a character flaw I need to work on.

    2. The spices and things I had to replace that were really old, were things I just plain don't use that often. For instance I had an ANCIENT bottle of red pepper flakes (and yup, I did indeed get the big bulk container at the time as it was on clearance) and I threw those away as they weren't even tasting hot anymore. I am definitely downsizing the herbs and things I don't use that often. Like, I started buying ground black pepper vs. pepper corns just because I found the taste to be just fine if I replace the ground black pepper every year (and I do), so instead of getting a bulk thing of peppercorns (they were getting really ancient too) I just bought a small bottle of them as the only time I really use them is in say a bouquet garni for soup or something and at Thanksgiving to go in the turkey brine.

      I think that the amount of thyme I ordered, combined with what is from the garden, will see me through might be close and I might have to buy another bottle later, but for the most part I'd say I'm good. And you're right. What's the point of having a huge bulk container of herbs around if you are just going to have to throw it out in another five years anyway?

      With the Crystal Light...he hasn't really tried much of it yet. I've been buying a container of the "to go" packs here and there to try and the different flavors and found I myself love the grape Cyrstal Light with caffeine, which is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced down my consumption of coffee and soda, so I am happy that is on my order from Amazon as I'll definitely use it. What I really like about the caffeine containing Crystal Light is that it has 1/2 the caffeine of a cup of coffee, but still keeps me awake, so I'm not consuming the shear amount of calories from all the cups of coffee and/or tea and I'm getting less caffeine. I'm hoping to, over time, water the Crystal Light down more and more and see if I can wean myself off of the majority of caffeine in my diet and see if I can just plain find something else to keep me awake during the day despite lack of sleep. I think it would be beneficial to my health. Especially getting the soda out of my diet. I KNOW that's not good for me at all. Once I find some good flavors to make via pitcher, I'm going to just start putting it on the table with meals. My husband and daughter will learn to love it or I'll die trying as the shear amount of soda that is blown through around here is awful. And it's definitely going to be cheaper to get the soda budget cut down.

      When it comes to the physical, I'm trying to figure out how to swing it, but I found that the annual health fair is next week and they always have a place to have your blood work done cheap at it and I found an entire women's health panel (thyroid and other hormone screen, anemia, diabetes, etc etc) is 150.00 and they mail the results to you. I'm thinking about going in and seeing if they have a good place to get the other labs from the yearly done as well and then I'll just have everything mailed to my doctor if I can get it to all work out.

      Thanks for the well wishes on the week. I sure hope it is a better week this week too!

  13. Ask the sleep lab to resubmit to the insurance. Thats at least a 60 day turn around, so would delay any payments for 2 months. And they might end up paying on it some. You never know.

    I'm so sorry you had such a shock. Hang in there. It will get better.

  14. I am sorry you have to deal with this. Do you have a copy of the EOB from the insurance company? Honestly, I have usually found the insurance company to be more my friend than the doctor's office. Did you get a preauthorization or predetermination of benefits? Was the provider in-network? Having been through cancer and 5 surgeries in the last five years alone between my husband and I (including double-hip replacement for my husband), I've learned a lot about medical benefits and insurance. But I never fail to get a sick feeling in my stomach every time I get EOB's or bills. I make sure I never pay a bill without comparing it to the EOB, and I read every EOB to check for accuracy. No matter how nice the doctor's office is, make absolutely sure they aren't trying to get you to pay more than the EOB says you have to. I have had that happen over and over.

    But mainly I wish I could give you a hug. Been there, done that with all things medical.

    1. Well, I got a copy of the insurance statement that shows they put 3,045 onto my husband's deductible in the mail yesterday, which matches what the insurance company has down (is that an EOB?). The company is only open customer service wise about 3 hours Alaska time during the day and only like three days a week, so I'll have to call on those hours and hopefully talk to someone. The fact that the sleep center called back three times to MODA, talked to three different people and got three different varieties of answer doesn't bode well I'm feeling :(.

    2. Yes, that is probably an EOB (explanation of benefits). Does it show any sort of discount? I guess the big question is does the statement from the insurance company say you owe the provider (the sleep center in this case) match what the sleep center says you owe them? If that doesn't make sense, I'll scan a couple of things of ours and email you an example of where the doctor's office tried to have us pay more than we should have.

    3. They don't break down what I owe the sleep center, but the amount they say that they put onto the deductible (no discount that I can find) equals the amount we owe the sleep center.

  15. Oh, goodness, Erika.

    I'm so sorry about the surprise medical bill. Lousy of them to do that to you, especially when things are so tight. We'll say some prayers for you for some creative inspiration and help in paying it.

    Great score on your daughter's Halloween costume! And I bet moving things around in the house is a bit fun too - if nothing else, when things are better organized it's a relief.

    Long distance hugs and I hope this week is better or at least has fewer unpleasant surprises,

  16. Years ago my dad's insurance co. said his surgery would be covered. Then the bills came that it wasn't covered. Mom figured she had nothing to lose but some time and effort so she called and called and called and actually submitted the bill 27 times! They finally paid. She would have never had the money to pay that bill. Guess now a days it pays to get it in writing up front and cover your butt by writing down the date and names, etc... of all conversations too.
    Hope you have quick resolution. Take care.

  17. Erika, if your dh is anything like mine, the sleep center will tell him one thing then your husband won't question it. You call, speak with the office manager or supervisor and tell them since they told your husband his deductible was almost met you will pay what you can reasonably pay a month. If they were not sure of the cost, they needed to talk with your insurance or have you call, no guessing and then they are sorry. Insurance may be bad but imagine none.

  18. Ericka.
    I am sorry about your week. You should have a discounted rate because you have insurance. Reasonable and custumery amount that is prenagosheated sp? Because you
    have insurance. Some times the claim is just denied the first time it is submitted. The insurance commitioner for your state might be able to help with
    this. Also sometimes they have money or schoolarship they will not tell you about if you do not ask. One time a foundation paid something that I had no possible way to pay. Sorry I can't spell today. I have migraine. Sending hugs and prayers your way. Patti