Friday, May 2, 2014

Te Deum laudamus

We are on high deductible health insurance. I had estimated that we would meet our family deductible early in April because 2 are in speech therapy and 1 is in occupational therapy. (Vision therapy does not count for our deductible.) We ended up going to the doctor for a few extra trips so I knew we met the deductible before April.

Ram had to schedule some minor surgery for the middle of May. He chose then because it is after his busy time of the church year at Easter, but before summer when the other area pastors might be on vacation so they could help him at church for a week while he recovers. 

The middle of April we received a letter from Ram's doctor that they had checked with insurance and we had not met our deductible yet so we would need to pay in full a week before his surgery. I didn't know how we were going to squeeze hundreds of dollars out of our budget at this time just after paying our estimated taxes. I told Ram to call insurance and verify this before we tried to figure out how to pay this.

It turns out that our doctors and therapists billing offices are weeks and sometimes even months behind filing with insurance. When the doctor called the middle of April it did not look like we had met our deductible. When Ram called at the end of April, we had met it. We actually met it before April but their records didn't show that yet. The doctor's office was really surprised that there was a difference in just 2 weeks, but there was.

We are so thankful that insurance will pay for this surgery in full since we have met our deductible and especially that we don't have to prepay for this surgery. When Ram had his kidney surgery a few years ago I learned to wait for insurance statements and make sure they matched up before paying medical bills. If insurance and bills don't match up, it is a lot harder to get a refund than it would be if we tried to correct that before we paid the bill. Now it was worth the phone call to make sure it was correct before prepaying. 

I expect to still pay medical bills for the next month or two while all the billing gets caught up. Then it will be nice to not pay medical bills until 2015! We are also going to make sure that all 5 of us are caught up on necessary appointments like physicals while we are covered this year. We are expecting the Lambs to graduate from some of their therapy this fall and it will be much more difficult to meet the deductible next year. I'm also finding that you need to make doctor appointments months in advance so we'll start making the appointments now to make sure we get all visits in before 2015.

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