Deductible Due Immediately – Sh*t!

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February 2, 2005 at 1:30 pm

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You know what the single piece of information you never see in people’s ACL journals is? C O S T! Of course the cost varies by your geographic location, the exact nature of your surgery, where you have it done, etc. However, no one utters a word about it, and at least in my case it was something of an

(see Addendum on that entry.)

Well, I’m about 15 minutes past getting my wake-up call.

The ambulatory (outpatient) surgical center where my surgery is scheduled just called.

They confirmed the surgery is covered under my insurance, and that I have a $1,500 deductible. So far, so good. They noted that only $100 of the deductible has been paid, and here’s where my heart sank:

…That mean’s the remainder of the deductible will need to be paid, so {pause} that’s $1,400 due at the time you check-in for surgery.

Oh my… I nearly fell on the floor. My rational self tried to step in, “Surely she means they’ll bill us at the time of check-in for the $1,400, and not that we need to have a check or debit card with $1,400 available at 5:30 AM on Friday.”

Well, guess what rational self, as is sometimes the case — You’re fired!

I immediately called Justin and broke down into tears (which, given the stress at his work, and my skills at hiding tears, I don’t think he noticed on the phone.)

All that’s swimming around in my head right now is how ironic and pathetic if I end up having to postpone surgery for a month or more due to being stupid enough to think I’d be billed, rather than expected to plop a bank bag on the hospital counter when I checked in.

My mood, rightfully so, at this moment is: PANIC! We’ll try to arrange a short-term loan from family sources (our parents) to get us over the hump (and it’s one big mother of a hump!)

While we both knew about the $1,500 deductible, and that we’ve had minimal out-of-pocket expenses thus far, we both assumed we’d be billed and could address this in a matter of weeks… weeks that make all the difference in our ability to just walk right up and write a $1,400 check.

So, I think I finally have my introduction to modern healthcare. If you’re indigent, the American taxpayers foot the bill for your procedures… even if the need for your procedure is self-inflicted; however, if you’re a taxpaying, insured citizen, you’d better have a fat wallet before you even think about putting on that hospital gown!

Sigh… I’m going to try not to think about this, because I’ll get angry — angry at myself for the poor planning, angry at the healthcare system for… well, for being the healthcare system. And I’ll start to worry about the “What If’s” — what if I have to reschedule , etc.

I tried to do leg raises today to strengthen my muscles and each time my left knee slipped out of joint.

Addendum: I’ve now had all my lifelines check in to ensure I’m not standing on a ledge somewhere (as if I could balance with my knee at present!)

Through Justin and myself calling our respective Mothers (thank GOD for Moms!), we actually secured double the funding — naturally, we don’t need it, but man it feels good to know family is there to jump in during a crisis like that.

I didn’t really know it could work that way!

{For “My Tribe”} – Mom, Dad, Justin, Jack & Jerry — Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Don’t know what I’d do without each of you, and am blessed to have you in my life. Amen!

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1 Comment

February 4, 2005

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For those keeping an eye on Geek Habitat (Noah..are you out there?)- Shan’s surgery lasted 1 & 1/2 hours and she came out of the anesthesia very smoothly. I’ll let her tell the stories herself when she’s back at home, but I wanted to let everyone know that she’s being strong and brave and will be back online soon.

Shannon’s proud mom

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