Friday was a big Go God day!
Some of you will remember when my DD had major surgery. It was a difficult few weeks and months for us as she recovered but now to look at her you would never know that she has ton’s of hardware down both sides of her spinal column.
Before her surgery
It was a delicate and complicated surgery that had numerous $$$ attached to it!
Anyway over the years I have grown very familiar with the process of paying off medical bills. I was so very thankful that we actually had health insurance when the need for the DD’s surgery became necessary. That has not always been the case. Without going into the long and boring details we were burdened with a very large medical debt many
many, many,many years ago for a very long, long, long, long time and God was faithful and eventually provided a way out for us.
It usually take a few month but eventually all the insurance payments had been processed and the final totally was in site. We had the hospital bill, the anesthesia bill and surgeons bill as well as a few others that I began to pay of month by month. Wouldn't it be great if all you had to pay was one bill….
Again I was very used to dealing with medical offices and I know that the best way to deal with them is to be up front and let them know what is going on in your life. I made them aware that I was not able to pay the balance off in full at the time I receive the first invoice but that I was very willing to pay each moth until the debt was resolved. Over the course of a few weeks I had made arrangement with all the medical offices and all of them had agreed to payment plans and we were off to a good start.
I began the familiar process of making those wonderful monthly payments
Let me tell you that this time around it was so much different than before so I was counting my blessings.
I have very vivid memories of our years in the financial trenches. I was a stay at home mom of a toddler, the hubs worked in a service oriented job and we barely made enough money to pay our house note and put food on the table. It was a huge struggle trying to pay of over $20,000.00 dollars in medical debt. God was good and provided a job keeping the nursery for the Disciple Bible study that had just begun at out church. Our church had never had an organized bible study before so there were no provisions for child care nor was there any budget provided for this either. The parents who participated in the study had to pay for the child care out of their own pocket. I can’t remember the exact amount I received but it was a very small amount by today standards. If memory serves it was a couple of dollars for each child per hour. Some of the parents would pay each week some wrote out a cheek once a month. I would take all the money I received for this babysitting and put in in an envelop and then at the end of the month I would take this amount and divide it by however many hospital bill I had that month and that was how much got sent to each bill. I can tell you that there were many times that I would write out my checks for $3.25 for each bill. At $3.25 a pop it did little to put a dent in the HUGE medical debt we had. But that is another story all together.
But I digress, our financial situation is much improved since those days, thank you Jesus!
I continued to make my monthly payment for all the medical bills we received from my daughters surgery for almost a year. As life would have it we experienced another fairly significant health issue. Without going into great detail and praise Jesus things worked out very well. All family members are in very good health now, however with excellent medical care comes the unavoidable medical bills.
I have yet to determine exactly what God is trying to teach me though all the various medical issues that we have experience but I am sure that at some point I may have a revelation.
However the one thing is very clear. When I am obedient to place things before God He is faithful to provide.
With the added medical debt we had incurred I had to contact all the medical offices and make arrangements to decrees the agreed upon amount to accommodate the additional debt that we now were responsible for.
Most of the time things go very smoothly. However over the years it has been my experience that there are times when things just go wrong. The moments when things fall through the cracks, times when you get connected with a cranky medical insurance processor, times when account numbers get mixed up, payment get misdirected, believe me I have seen it all and experienced it all.
I had one such experience with one of the hospital bills. I was receiving multiple invoices with multiple account numbers, I could never quite determine which bill I was supposed to pay. I could never speak to the same representative when I called. I was continuing to make monthly payments yet still receiving notices in the mail telling me that payment was not being received.
It was a mess. Every time I called I would have to go into my long drawn out explanation of our situation and it was a chore.
I finally found someone who was able to make some sense out of the mess, but even then it was a situation where she was not really listening to me. I explained to her that it was not a situation where I could no longer pay the bill. It was a situation where I could no longer afford to pay the agreed upon amount and that I needed to make a slightly smaller payment each month. Sometime I think these representatives get conditioned to deal with people in a certain way and she automatically thought I was trying to get out of paying my bill. She simply wasn’t listening to me. I finally just gave up and agreed to fill out the forms she kept insisting I fill out for the Indigent Care.
Yes! Indigent Care forms had resurfaced their ugly little head in my life once again. It had not been the first time I had this lovely experience. It is a humbling and somewhat humiliating process of opening ones financial life up and hoping for the best.
No matter how many times I said that I had every intention of continuing to pay on the bill she simple would not hear me and insisted on sending me these forms to fill out.
I actually thought about just tossing them in the trash when I received them. I mean seriously we were only taking about a bill of less than $400.00 dollars. I had been continuing to make my monthly payments yet was still receiving notices saying that they were not receiving any payment at all.
IT WAS A MESS!
Well I yielded in obedience and filled out the forms and sent them in.
Weeks go by……
I continue to make my monthly payment……
One afternoon a notice showed up in the mail from the hospital telling me that after multiple attempts to contact me they were regretfully turning my account over to collections if I did not pay the bill in full at once.
I am breathing out very forcefully by this time and had about reached the end of my Christian charity.
In a fit of exasperation I simple checked the old saving account balance and seeing it in fairy decent shape I transferred the necessary funds and simply paid off the bill in full.
I was so OVER dealing with the level of complication and seemingly unending trouble this bill was causing me.
So I hit the send button and made my final “Payment in Full” and gave a sigh of relief.
A week later I receive a letter for the hospital:
Dear Mrs. Be Still and Know,
Thank you for you application…..bla bla bla bla. We are pleased to tell you that you are eligible for bla bla bla. You account has now been cleared of the remaining balance. If you have any further questions bla bla bla………
I picked up the telephone and called the woman who’s name was on the letter. At this point I am at a complete loss as to what to do.
AND AGAIN AND AGAIN explained in great detail the entire situation as well as the fact that I had receive a notice the week before that the account was being tuned over to collections and I had paid the account off in full.
“I’m so sorry Mrs. Be Still and Know, you will have to call down to bla bla bla to get this resolved.”
I hung up the phone and set my nice think wad of paper clipped medical invoices aside for when calmer minds could prevail.
I was torn.
Do I just leave this alone? I mean after all we did legitimacy own the hospital bill. We had every intention of paying it off eventually. I could just let that be the end of it.
However there were two reaming hospital bills and one of them could be paid off in full with the money that I had sent to the hospital.
My brain simply could not handle any more forays into the electronic phone tree hell…press one for English…press 5 for patient accounts….enter the last five digits of your social….I was done y’all!
I set my wad of invoices aside and said a small prayer.
“Lord, can you give me a hand with this one!”
God is so good!
God is AWESOME!
God knew I was so tired of dealing with this…..
Look what came in the mail yesterday!
Y’all they sent my check back and I did not have to lift a finger or a telephone receiver.