Monday, May 11, 2015

Sixty-six Years of Monthly Payments.....

Babygirl's Medicare went away at the end of February, three years post transplant.  She is now entirely dependent on my work coverage, which has a pretty huge deductible.  So far I've had to pay nearly 100% of my and Hubby's medical costs for the year. 

Babygirl's, however, are in some debate.  I've had some difficulty convincing our insurance company that Medicare has, indeed, signed off. 

Babygirl was admitted to the hospital in March.  And again in April.  She had blood work in between and since.  And our insurance has steadfastly insisted that they aren't responsible.  And they gamely suggest that we aren't either, since Medicare is supposed to be picking it all up.


I've faxed Medicare's letter to them twice.  The second time I got the name of the person who received the fax, spoke to her and confirmed that everything from March 1st on would be resubmitted for payment. 

Then I got the letter from CHOP, warning me that everything would soon be billed to 'self pay' because our insurance wasn't covering. The total is nearly $20,000.  Twenty.  Thousand.  Dollars.

I called CHOP and got the lowdown from them.  I am on the brink of going into collections for some of the March bills.  Crap.

I then called our insurance company, and the young lady I spoke to informed me that Medicare was responsible.  I informed her that I had in front of me proof that I had faxed the Medicare sign-off letter to them more than two weeks earlier, discussing in rather heated terms the meaning of the phrase "NOT covered."  She was not amused.  After several sessions of bad on-hold jazz, she came back and confirmed that Medicare, indeed, no longer covered my child's healthcare.  She then told me that all of her medical bills from March 1st to the present had been send for 'review.'  That didn't sound like 'resubmitted for payment' somehow, so I asked how long does 'review' take?  Thirty to forty-five days for our insurance plan - up to 90 days for some others. I asked to speak to a supervisor.  She said, "I don't see why you would need to do that."  I insisted.  She agreed, and then we were somehow 'disconnected.' 

I called CHOP to fill them in.  They took the information, but said that they couldn't keep the account from going to collections.....unless I was willing to set up a payment plan. 

The poor soul who suggested this to me was clearly used to hearing sad insurance stories from desperate parents, and she was audibly prepared to duck-and-cover under her desk at whatever tirade I might loose in her direction about needing to set up a payment plan for a bill I clearly didn't even OWE yet. 

"What's the least I can pay to keep it out of collections?"  "Twenty-five dollars a month."

Seriously?  To keep my credit rating high enough to qualify for a low-interest mortgage?  To keep from paying collection fees?  To keep creditors from harassing me at the office??  "Sign me up, and keep it going monthly until I tell you to stop."

I did the math. If the insurance doesn't pay, I'll have the whole thing paid off in a mere sixty-six years of twenty-five dollar monthly payments.  What a deal!



PS  I did call our insurance back, reaching the lovely young lady who had received my fax more than two weeks ago.  She checked the case out, added some details and transferred me to a supervisor without any difficulty.  They need ten of her and NONE of the other girl.

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