I, like many people my age, don’t really understand the medical system. The addition of insurance on top of it just makes things that much more complicated. In May, I suffered a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Since then, we have received a number of bills from the various hospitals and clinics, the biggest was $130, most of the rest somewhere in the $50 to $60 range each.
And then, we finally got the bill for the surgery, and it was $4,000. I was surprised first because I thought we had paid all the medical bills over the last couple of months, and I just assumed the insurance was taking care of the rest of it. Then I was surprised by the amount (it took a few minutes to sink in).
I called the hospital, and was able to get about $800 off the total bill by paying the entire thing up front (and on the credit card, so we still earn points), since we fortunately have the money to hand since we were saving to put money down on a new apartment. I thought about asking the insurance company for a breakdown of insured/non-insured costs, since they have not sent me anything, and the online information is just awful. With everything else going on, including still attempting to emotionally recover from losing my second pregnancy, I just don’t have the bandwidth to try to deal with the bureaucratic nightmare that is health insurance. I may end up paying more out of pocket (??) but since the alternative is trying to figure out how insurance works and pull information out little by little, I’m willing to take the hit this time.
At the end of the day, we’re going to have enough money to pay it all before the bill comes due. We’ve reached the point in our lives where this is an annoyance, and a set back, but we will be able to maintain our other obligations. The crappy part is that it means waiting another month to get started on making large student loan payments, because once we’ve paid the medical bill (so we don’t have yet another debt sitting around), we’ll have to set aside another round of funds for apartment costs. So we won’t be able to start making large student loan payments until September.
Currently, my student loan minimum is $600, and we’re guessing we’ll need about $3,000 to get a new place (security deposit, first month’s rent, and a little extra for application fees and just-in-case expenses). We’ve budgeted $3,500 for loan payments each month, so $600 will go to my loans, a total of $700 to the spouse’s loans, which leaves $2,200 to stick in savings for a new apartment. As of right now, here’s the plan to pay the medical bills and get the apartment savings built back up.
July – $1,300 student loan payment, $3,200 to medical bills
August – $1,300 to student loans, $2,200 to apartment savings
September – $2,300 to student loans, $1,000 to apartment savings
October – $3,500 to student loans.
There’s a chance that we might be able to get back on track a little faster, since the spouse can now work over time, and even has access to double-time shifts since the hospital is occasionally low on nurses. So if we have “extra” money from those overtime shifts, we’ll go ahead and toss it into savings, to try and get back to making the budgeted payments to the student loans. Additionally, we may be able to make a slightly larger loan payment in December, if we actually get any security deposit back from the current apartment. That is by no means certain, since my cats are completely disrespectful of the need to keep the place nice. We are also still working on getting the cash from the spouse’s dad, but the banks have been very difficult to work with. That cash payment will help a lot, once we have access to it.