Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Too much

Last night the puppy cried because my mom wasn't home at bedtime.  I got him to sleep once and he woke back up and we were up until nearly 12:30.  (He's a year old so a puppy developmentally, not physically and he's stayed here with me MANY times without problems).  I got to sleep at 2:30 and woke to barking at 3:30 that I ignored.  Then we were up for the day at 4:35 AM.  He did let me nap some this morning but I am so very tired now.  (I also carried a lot of heavy things downstairs at my place we don't speak of).

Then I got an email with my bill for Cleveland Clinic.  For the last 2 years I've been on charity care there with my income qualifying me for 100% free services.  Every 3 months you apply and until last spring I'd hear pretty quickly that I was approved.  Last spring's application took forever to be processed and so this bill was horrifying; I suddenly owed at first glance over $3000.  Which is not money I have.  For some reason from the months assistance is approved it was only 50%.  By their online guidelines and detailed policy I still qualify at 100%.  I spent 90 minutes in 5 phone calls with people telling me different things each time and the end result is that I get to call next week and see if they have changed it to 100%.  I kept getting hung up on or once I was on hold and suddenly was sent back to the long entry menu.  I was so upset and frustrated and tired.

And then when I couldn't do any more I gave up and worked in the house that won't be mentioned and then looked again.  In actuality if they bill at the 50% level they are still not making me pay 50% of what the statement says it costs; instead I am billed 2 much smaller amounts, less than $50 per month.  Which would have been no problem if they hadn't let those pile up for a year and now will want them paid at once.  I could have paid it month by month easily.  Now I'll have to do a payment plan that could make it hard to meet my car debt only by 2015 goal.  Unless they realize their error and go back to 100% which they should as far as I can tell.  Using any criteria I can find I qualify for that.

There is also a chunk of it that is on hold.  Part is because in November I may have hit my Medicaid spenddown and I am late in getting that information back to them.  So November has huge amounts of unprocessed claims.  And then December and January are being held up because of my being late with the Medicaid thing.  They say I didn't return a phone call but I never got one.  I had one from my local caseworker that I returned but nothing from there.  Oh well.  I'm doing the best I can. 

In all if I have to pay it will be about the cost of what I have saved for upcoming expenses not covered by Medicare.  One of my meds may cost me $480/month during the donut hole period unless patient assistance makes an exception and continues to provide it.  I may not reach the donut hole this year because I have some meds already that I won't have to pay for until later in the year but $480/month depletes savings fast.  And if it goes for last year's medical bills then I won't be debt free by 2015.

Oh well.  Can't do anything until next week and if they don't fix it then I'll start a paper battle. 

But stress was what I was really not hoping for this week. 

And now the puppy wants back in.  Again.  He has been in and out at least 50 times today.  We have to lock the patio door because he can open it himself and does so happily, leaving the door wide open.  But he won't just settle into being in or out.  It's getting on my nerves heavily.  Hopefully my mom will be here in 2 more hours....


Jean Grey said...

I can't believe I work in healthcare, I am so bad at paying my bills. Not because I don't want to or don't have the money- but between depression and learning disabilities and a huge procrastination problem- I finally opened a bill from Quest Labs- it stated that they are sending my bill for ten dollars if they don't receive payment by a date that has already past. But when I go online, I am not able to pay the bill- maybe the collection agency has it.

Just Me Jen said...

Thanks Jean Grey. It's good to know it's not just me. I've had $10 bills go to collections. I really hard a bad time with bills when I was working and not on Seroquel. My credit score was clear down to 524 at one point. This was particularly sad because until I got sick it was practically perfect and I had a whole complex plan to save, pay double my student loans, etc. for the first year I worked. After that I just couldn't. Now I do well again because I take the time that I didn't used to have and keep a notebook that includes things like "transfer $40 to ING account marked "car insurance"; transfer $50 to ING account "dental", etc. The day my check comes I pay pretty much everything. When I was "traveling" I made so much more than I had before and was putting it on debt and watched my credit score go up 100 points in a really short time period.

Now my problem is understanding some bills. My electric bill got messed up (not my fault) the 2nd month and I still don't understand what I am supposed to pay them or why it is that amount and not the one in the "pay this amount" box. I guess that's why I have help now. Even though my help gets impatient with my not understanding.

These medical bills are the worst though. I did not cause this problem and in fact have called numerous times about them. Financial services is the only area of Cleveland Clinic (ok and a few individuals who have done crappy things) that is truly awful. Nobody is ever consistent about anything and if you follow what they say you can wind up screwed.

I also had to call one of my 2 caseworkers related to Medicaid (I have spenddown only but one caseworker through the clinic and one through Medicaid) and leave a message explaining that I hadn't gotten stuff to her because of a bad episode, blah blah. Makes me feel awful but it's true. HOpefully it arrives fast and she takes the rest of my bills from before Medicare out of the freezer.

Oh well. Next week is the soonest I can do more.

Just ME Jen