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Friday, January 6, 2012

Lost that bet

Now that the days of paying your insurance premiums and being confident that everything would be covered are over (were there ever those days? Maybe I'm just talking about when I lived with my parents and didn't have to think about costs.), insurance is something of a bet, a balancing act.  On one hand, the chances that something bad will happen and you'll need to be well covered; on the other, the chances that nothing bad will happen and you'll basically be flushing your insurance premiums down the company execs' toilets.

N, my 17 year old, had surgery Wednesday to remove a cyst.  While we were registering him, the nurse told me, "It shows here that you have a $2,500 deductible.  Would you like to pay some money on that now?"

$2,500?  Fuuuuuu.....

Now, I helped make the decision, but that was like 6 months ago.  I vaguely remember the conversation going something like...Wow, this other plan got way more expensive...we don't typically have a ton of medical bills, we could hedge our bets, stick with the same cost but higher deductible, and then if something big happens, we'll have to deal with it. So this sucks.  By January 4, we had $2,500 in medical bills, plus the percentage the insurance requires us to pay.  On the otherhand, by January 4, N's deductible was taken care of. 

Luckily, though, the hospital will let us make payments.  Luckily, though, we have insurance that will cover the majority of the remainder of the costs.  And they'll be considerable.  After the surgery, they admitted him for the night for pain management, and I'm so glad they did, because he was in a lot of pain and it was a huge relief to know that he was in the hands of trained professionals.  Trained professionals with good drugs.

N and I were at the hospital alone, and that was OK with me.  It's hard to watch your kid go through medical stuff, though, even when your kid looks like he should be playing linebacker for some college team.  The first hard part was watching the nurse fish around in his hand trying to get the IV through a valve; needles don't bother me, but the look on his face did.  The second hard part was watching them wheel him away.  The worst, though, was sitting with him in his hospital room in that time between anesthesia wearing off and pain medications being administered.  Leaving him there for the night was no picnic, either.

It's largely thanks to his surgery that I have any chance of completing KDUB's 70.3 Birthday Challenge.  I did my swim on Wednesday before we went to the hospital.  2100 yards (42 laps) in 56:49, over 5 minutes longer than it took me in October...which was the last time I swam.  I could barely lift my arms when I got out of the pool.  I did notice that swimming is starting to feel much more natural and comfortable than when I first started swimming laps.  Maybe I could even be good at it if I spent more time in the pool, but I doubt that's going to happen on a regular basis.

I'm a little over halfway done on the bike, too.  We've had amazingly nice days here; the temperature got into the low 60's yesterday (very not typical for a midwestern winter), but I wouldn't have felt comfortable leaving N for long.  Exercise bike it was.  I actually have a bike trainer now, which would've been a lot more fun to ride, but I need to get my bike adjusted before I put it up there.  Instead, I endured 2:02 on the exercise bike to the tune of about 35 miles.  I couldn't do it all at once, though, that thing was making me crazy.  I'd ride 30 minutes, do something else, come back and ride another 30 minutes.  Oddly for someone who started her "athletic journey" in love with the bike, I'm most looking forward to the run portion.

21 comments:

  1. Aargh, deductibles. Hope he is recovering well.
    Just about to head out the door for 2 hours on the bike - feel like a kid at recess!!

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  2. sorry about the unexpected med costs. hope your son is okay from it all.

    keep kickin'!

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  3. My mother-in-law signed up for the "cheaper" plan at work not fully understanding that the high deductible was going to make it all come out the same (and she does tend to USE her insurance). My husband had to go in to her HR dept yesterday and figure it all out, but I think we're on track now. I can't tell you how much I hate insurance. I gave up after my son was born and we spent hours on the phone with insurance companies. Now my husband takes care of all of those calls. I dread the day I have to do it again. My favorite was the day they wouldn't cover a follow up pap (after some abnormal cells were found) and they said it was more than 1x/year of a "preventative measure" so it wouldn't be covered and he asked the lady if SHE liked getting them enough that she would just go for an extra! LOL He is too much. Hope your son is healing nicely. I have been so lucky with my children having no major medical issues. I also dread the day I have to watch them wheel one of my babies away for any kind of procedure. (((HUGS))) to you both. Way to go on the swimming and biking. I got out for a ride yesterday and might again today it is so nice. Better take advantage while I can.

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  4. oh that sucks :( I feel so bad. I live in Canada and I have never understood how you guys can afford all that health care!!!! it's crazy. Hope you can get some money and that your sons surgery went ok!

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  5. Dealing with insurance companies suck...deciding what plan is best for you sucks too. and what is good for one person may not be good for another! I hope he heals wonderfully!

    Good luck with your training although doesn't look like you need my "good luck" LOL...such a great inspiration you are!

    and thanks for the input on the phone blogging..I feel like I'm not getting enough reading of other blogs done or responding to them!

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  6. First and foremost, I hope he feels better soon.

    I hate insurance. Our plan has a $500 deductible for each. I think we've blown through that already for 2 of the 4 of us for 2012. In the first week!

    Forget about the fights to get things covered or the mired of forms to get back very few $. Sorry, rant over. I felt myself going to the dark side a moment there.

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  7. Ahh, I did that with my car, stopped me claiming every time. But not the same with a person. We are so lucky in the UK (so far). I don't think we really understand how it feels having to pay for vital health care.
    We are having an odd winter too, way too warm; but quite windy. Sure it will end in tears. Take care. xx

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  8. Ugh! I am so sorry for your son's pain and hope he'll get better fast. I am so glad I have health insurance, but never get to use it really. On the other hand I was very happy when Katrina hit and I found out I had opted for the $500 deductible for my home owners, it made the tree removal, new roof, paint job, new fence, etc, much more bearable.

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  9. Ouch, that's a chunk of change. Glad your son came out all right though. It's tough to see your child in a hospital setting. My daughter had appendicitis in the fifth grade and had to spend some time in the hospital, those were long, lonely hours.

    Nice work on the swim! You will rock the Carlyle tri!

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  10. Hate the whole insurance thing. Deductibles suck but the rest of it is great. Hope Nathan is on the mend. It's hard to watch your child hurting in any way.

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  11. Insurance agencies don't really cover the insured, they cover the businesses that they pay out to insure they stay profitable.

    So in other words, they are not in any way in cooperation with the premium payers.

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  12. Gosh Kate, Sorry about both of these things...your son needing surgery and the unexpected cost. ;(

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  13. Seeing your child in pain is absolutely horrible. If there was any way I could take the pain for my kids I would. That really sucks about the big bill too. Nice you got some extra workouts in though :-).

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  14. It's the worst watching your child get taken away to surgery:( Glad he's getting better!

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  15. Gosh, Kate, I hope N feels better soon. Health insurance....stinks. We gotta have it but it's no fun gambling in that stuck situation. I'm sure they'll get us all at some point, some year. Glad you got your exercise relief!

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  16. We had a couple of unexpected ER visits this summer with the kids. No fun at all- on many levels. I understand not wanting to watch the pain on his face. Glad you do have the insurance for the part that will be covered, though.

    Well done on the challenge ! I had no idea that was going on. I would not be able to do the swim, river is a little fast right now :) Great bike!

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  17. this sucks.
    I hope your son is recovering well.
    I have been living here for almost 12 years now and I dont understand the US health care system. In Canada none of this crap happens.
    People dont have to pay to go give birth for example!

    I have to watch jonathan go for surgery when he was 4 and I hope I dont have to do that ever again

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  18. this sucks.
    I hope your son is recovering well.
    I have been living here for almost 12 years now and I dont understand the US health care system. In Canada none of this crap happens.
    People dont have to pay to go give birth for example!

    I have to watch jonathan go for surgery when he was 4 and I hope I dont have to do that ever again

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  19. Thank god for payment plans and good drugs!

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  20. I hope that your son now feels good.
    Here the medical situation is different, we don't pay but everytime it's a nightmare: queues, waiting months for a text etc.
    Not to have problems I have an insurance to cover the payments so I can go to the private structures.

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  21. UGH! We've done the same thing on our insurance the last couple of years. Being self employed, you get to come to the sad realization that you should have had more appreciation for all those years where an employer paid your premiums. We went to a high deductible and so far we have been lucky, then Steve ended up in the ER a couple months ago and those 2 short hours cost us $2500 and I still don't think we've hit our deductible (I'm guessing it's 5 thousand, blech!!)

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