Posted in Crohn's Disease, Health, Life

Medical Bills, Insurance and Crohn’s, Oh MY!!

I know I haven’t been updating much, and there’s a reason why. I just haven’t felt like writing with everything else going on. Most of you know that I’ve been battling pacreatitis since March 2014 and the doctors had struggled to figure out why. I finally switched doctors during my last bout with it who sent me to have an endoscopic ultrasound who then found a stricture in my duodenum which then prompted a blood test in December which diagnosed me with Crohn’s a few days ago — OFFICIALLY. This was something the doctor had suspected in Irvine, California, but my local doctor was a skeptic and wanted more testing. (So, neener, neener, neener, doc, your colleague was right!)

So, what now? More testing. Gotta love it! And each time I’m referred, I really wonder just how much it’s going to cost us. I have about $2000 in unsettled bills from last year in some sort of financial limbo. Some are in appeals with our insurance, others haven’t hit the company billing department yet, and others referred us to collections even though I offered to pay the bill in full if they’d send me an invoice. Now I don’t know how much my prescription is going to cost (20% of 7K/yr, if what I Googled is correct), so now we’re holding our breath until February when I start it.

To align themselves with the ACA (A.K.A. “Obama-Care”) our insurance changed our maximum Out Of Pocket expenses to $2500/yr medical and $4100/yr for prescriptions starting 2015 per individual. I’m not sure where they think a family making about 50K/yr is going to come up with $6600 (or, the horror if you had to pay it for family which comes to $11,200 for the year), but if the politicians say we can, I guess we can right? Before this disastrous bill was passed, the most a family could expect to pay was $5000 with our same policy provided through my husband’s employer, now we’re looking at more than that just for the maximum out of pocket for ONE person. I guess the theory of medical costs going down because “everyone would be insured” went straight out the window, eh?

I’ve been a little “down,” that’s for sure.

So, readers, what do you do to help cut down medical expenses? What programs are available to help the lower middle class? I already coupon, we cut out cable a looooong time ago, we hardly ever eat out, the car payment will be done in May and we have minimal credit card debt that should be paid off in February provided nothing else explodes in our face. That leaves an additional $150/mo I need to make up somewhere after all those other expenses are paid. I just don’t know what else to cut!! 😦 I think it’s safe to say buying a home or any vacationing is out for quite awhile…if ever.

Thanks for reading our woes,
Katie ☙

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