The Never Ending Medical Debt

1236043_697457766931353_1248169103_nMy husband jokes that he paid for health insurance his whole life and never used it until he met me. Hubs never gets sick. Never has a cold or the flu. He is like a freak of nature. Like clockwork I get sick every change of the season. So yes, it’s true. He knew nothing of doctor’s offices or EOB’s or medical debt until we started the baby journey.

Hubs and I were married a little over a year when we first found out we were pregnant. And less than 2 months later we lost the baby. Talk about feeling like your world has shattered. This was my first real experience with loss. And it hit me fast and hard. I was scheduled for a D&C at 12 weeks. I can’t begin describe what it is like to lose a baby. I will just say ’empty.’

We got pregnant with Cooper 3 months later and I had a very typical pregnancy with no issues. And at this time we had great health insurance but much like many other young couples we didn’t really know it. We paid bills if they came and that was that. If I remember correctly my whole pregnancy with Cooper’s birth cost us less than $1500.00. (I’d like to add here that hubs and I are a very average middle class family. There isn’t money for a lot of extras but also don’t lack for anything.)

If you’ve read any of my beginning posts you will remember that Cooper had some health issues as a baby. He did and still has problems going poop. We have seen a few specialists who have all told us that Cooper is holding his poop. I believe this is completely wrong. You can’t tell me that a 2 month old baby is holding their poop. They don’t even know how too! Cooper also saw a doctor for his um…er….ugh…er…boy parts. As the layman will say, his testicles didn’t hang down. We found out after seeing a specialist that Cooper was extremely chunky and had a fat patch covering his boy bits. (yes, he was just fat!)

During this time hubs’ employer switched to a worse health insurance plan. Premiums were much higher, the plan covered less and our out of pockets expense went up. And guess what, I was pregnant with Sawyer. Yay! Honestly though, I am an optimist and never really worried about medical bills. You just paid them when you could.

Again, I had a very typical pregnancy with an amazing birth and a perfect little boy in January 2013. Only this time is cost us closer to $4,000. When hubs saw the bills he asked if we could return Sawyer for a refund. Eek! I responded with ‘sure, but he’s not going back inside me!’

This is also the time we started speech. And hubs quit his job and started his own business. Yay and holy mother of scary at the same time!  As a result we hopped on the insurance through my employer. And we officially learned what bad insurance was. Oh. My. God. Two months after the switch we got a bill for $3000. Yes, you read that right. Cooper’s speech appointments (before deductible was met) were costing us $375 for 45 minutes. (After we met the deductible they cost $75 for 45 minutes.)

Up until January 1st 2014, Cooper attended speech 2 times a week at a local clinic (very low sliding fee) and 1 time a week at the local hospital. I just made the tought decision as we rolled into the new year and our deductible went back to zero to cancel Cooper’s appointments at the local hospital. (We will still continue at the clinic) There is absolutely no way we could afford to send him there. $375 for 45 minutes is insane.

My husband and I both work full-time and have good jobs and we can’t afford to send our completely non-verbal son to speech. This is everything that is wrong with the world.

Talk about a punch to the gut. Talk about feeling like you are letting your child down. I am scared. Simple as that. I am scared that we don’t have enough money to give him what he needs. (I would like to add a disclaimer here. When it comes to Cooper’s care money is no object. I would have and will alway give him everything he needs. Without a doubt. And as I look into my future crystal ball I see lots of speech, occupational and physical therapy.)

So, as it stands, I have an ongoing monthly medical payment to the hospital for the rest of my life. Happy New Year Friends!

And on a positive note (I like to always end on a positive), here is the response I received from Cooper’s Speech Therapist when I told her we had to cancel his appointments for the time being:

“I am glad that you are continuing with speech therapy through Scottish Rite. It is a great resource and much more cost-effective than other options. Cooper is one of my favorite little kiddos to see, so I am sad to see him go. If you need anything in the future, don’t hesitate to email or call me.”

Yes, I did just red highlight and bold her sentence. And yes, it is on my fridge. And I may have a copy in my wallet. My Super Cooper is her one of her favorites and I am so proud.

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