Insurance Bills

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Twenty-One Months Ago...

I became a patient of the High Risk Pregnancy department at South Bend Medical Hospital after discovering our precious baby girl would be born with hydrocephalus.

Twenty Months Ago...

our first of many insurance bills from the High Risk Pregnancy department began to roll in.

One Week Ago...

that first bill came for the last time!!

For almost two years we have been fighting the insurance company to pay for a very expensive bill that should have been covered under our plan.

For twenty months we kept receiving the same bill in the amount of $866.70.

For twenty months we kept appealing that same bill.

The site of that South Bend Medical Hospital's logo for almost two years, pushed me. It pushed me too far.

Normally I am very mild mannered and leave the confrontational calls to my husband. He naturally handles such matters with grace and wisdom.

But two months ago, when another bill from South Bend came in the mail, I decided that was enough! I was determined to get to the bottom of this.

I looked at little Cayman and said, "Mommy needs to learn how to handle these kind of things on my own!"

I picked up the phone, said a prayer, and dialed what was the first of many phone calls that have taken place between me and the doctor's office, me and the insurance company, and even a conference call between all three of us.

{Those three-way calls are interesting. I felt like I was on 'The View'...women talking all at once.}

After hours on the phone, over two pages of accurate note taking, and a new found confidence in myself, the insurance company paid their share of the bill!

I happily cut the doctor's office a check in the amount of $43.93.

My out-going mailbox!

"Good-bye forever pesky bill!!"

20 Showin' Comment Love:

Tsquared417 said...

Insurance stuff always makes me nuts. Good for you for getting it resolved!!

The James Family said...

We had one like that for Triniti except it was $9000 - it was the hospital's mistake on why it wasn't being paid and it was so frustrating to get people to listen! I'm glad you got it worked out - insurance companies are a PAIN!! We are having issues with Triniti's seizure meds being covered when the doctor ups her dose... the pharmacy had a VERY heated conversation with the insurance company- it didn't do any good.. but it made me feel good that I wasn't the only one that was upset! :)

Stephanie said...

Good for you! Those insurance companies really know how to make a person mad. haha.

Grandma S said...

Three cheers for assertive women! I never heard the words "grace and wisdom" used to describe Mike before. It made me laugh.

Beth said...

That is GREAT!!!! We pay premiums for sooo long never using the "benefits" and then when you need it - they don't want to pay!!! Good for you for sticking it to them!

Ann said...

Insurance makes me CRAZY, nuf said!

Chris Johnson said...

You sure did a great job tackling this one! I love how you retell the things you do, you keep it interesting, youre great!

Tara said...

Oh how I know those pesky little insurance companies. We have TRICARE which is the Military insurance. Well they do not like to pay anything. When Michelle was admitted to Seattle Children's for the last of her surgeries in Washington they tried to deny her claim. I had the approval letter in hand of every and all procedures done while we were there. Including the ambulance ride from MAMC (Madigan Army Medical Center). It took me 10 months to get them to realize that it was their error not mine or the hospitals and I really didn't feel like paying a 45,000.00 Hospital bill!

The Bontragers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Bontragers said...

Sorry - that was me above (the deleted comment). Was just trying to say congrats on never having to see that logo again! :)

Lisa said...

Boy oh boy, do I get it!

I spent a few weeks going in circles about a nine-hundred-and-some-odd bill that should never have been billed to me in the first place(we already reached our out of pocket limit for the year). I 'think' that I finally have it taken care of and the insurance company was supposed to pay it before we left for vacation (lets hope it actually happened....I need to make a follow up call).

I also get what you are saying about learning to deal with these kinds of things. Before Elisabeth, I was quite timid with 'grown up' issues like dealing with insurance companies and hospitals and doctors and such. I had led a very protected and whimsical childhood and life so far, all worry free.

I'll never forget the moment when I said to myself, I CAN handle all of this. It was in the midst of those first few weeks where I was digesting the news about Elisabeth. I was so overwhelmed. I didn't know where to begin, or what to do and what calls to make once I did begin. I had to figure where I wanted to deliver her, who I wanted my doctor to be, and who I wanted her doctor to be. I needed to get in touch with my insurance company and let them know that I would have to deliver her out of network, and convince them to make special allowences (which they did). Anyways, I was sitting upstairs in the old bonus room (current girls room) and I realized that I COULD do this. I was a person just as capable as the rest. And so I dove right in, took charge, and haven't looked back since.

Just one of the ways that Elisabeth has changed my life....for the better!

Stephanie said...

You go girl!
It is a full time job just keeping the insurance companies straight and making sure the medical bills are all paid.

Amy J. said...

Oh I can just feel the frustration! We had a very similar experience with the emergency air lift bill when Anderson was sick. It is so exasperating and yes it can make even the mild mannered woman heated! Way to go...you conquered!

Katie said...

I LOVE THAT!

I just hate bills!

Good for you. Way to go Kristen!

Stefani said...

Go Kristen!! You endured that for 20 months! I would have thrown my hands up and figured out a payment plan. Wow, your persistence paid off almost $800 - nicely done!
You deserve a nice dinner, a pedicure, a massage, a day of pampering for what you just saved the fam.
Once again - Nicely done!
~Audrey Sue's mom

The Soldatke family said...

Yippee!!! I'm so glad you got that taken care of! Sadly, it probably won't be the last time; but now you have the prior experience to get the job done! I think that is one more thing that few of us in the world don't take for granted; accurately billed, and payed for medical bills! :) (oh, by the way....in case you weren't counting...2 more days!)

Sheila Smith said...

The medical field and insurance companies both are full of more corruption than we think.... It's SOOOO easy to be intimidated by the confusing lingo and MESS of an insurance bill! To not understand your policy is actually something most insurance companies count on, hoping their customers are either uneducated, impatient, uncaring, or hopelessly unempowered and too fearful to counter a huge bill that may or may not be correct. Your story is such a good lesson for us!

With my first pregnancy, I was required to have an epidural, and a few weeks later I got a bill for over $1400 for the anesthesiologist who, unbeknownst to me was NOT a carrier of the insurance I had at the time! My argument to them was, "How was I supposed to know that the random anesthesiologist I got who was on call didn't take my insurance? Was I supposed to stop and make a phonecall in between contractions to check?!?!" They paid the bill in full!!

Thanks for sharing this, Kristin!

Michelle said...

You go girl! After Owen was born they put his bill for the first month at the hospital on the wrong policy - one which did not in fact have Owen on at all. When I called the insurance company to explain that they needed to fix this issue, they calmly explained that it was too late to "pre-approve" his birth on the correct policy and that I would just have to pay the $88,000 myself. They were soon shown the error of their ways. Never mess with a Mama! Good job on persisting and getting them to make use of your premiums!

therextras said...

Relief from the stress of hounding bills: priceless.

As seen here, you are not alone.
Barbara

My name is Sarah said...

Excellent work!!!