No More Medical Debt – My Immediate 2017 Challenge

Just when I thought I could sit down to smell the roses after paying off the student loan debts, appendicitis struck. Though my stress levels would be higher if I had the car loan, student loan, *and* medical bills.

There will be more bills next month when I get the appendectomy. A rundown of the bills so far are below. I was going to put it into a spreadsheet but didn’t have the inspiration at 1AM on New Year’s Eve. Not all of these are from the ER  directly. Some are followups after the fact and other include lab work.

So for the first phase I’ll be paying about $4,500 according to estimates. Aflac may reimburse me $1,000 based on 2 days spent in the ER. Getting an itemized bill from the hospital that I’ll submit next week. Worth the $125 that I paid for it. Trying to be as aggressive as possible in getting this debt gone. Unlike the car that is 1.9% fixed, the credit card will jump to ~13% Truthfully though my credit card is at 0% until January 2018. Go Chase Slate card.

I paid over $13k in student loans during 2016. The total for medical debt should be around half that. Thank god I have insurance though. Even with deductibles to hit, I’m still getting a pretty huge discount. Not how I wanted to start the new year, but it’s a short-term reality.

Thanks for reading my blog. Have a Happy and Safe 2017.

hospitalemergencyroombills
Hospital Emergency Room Bills after Insurance

Unexpected Expenses

As much as I want to pay off Sallie Mae it’s time to beef up my emergency fund. For the month of January I’ll pay paying just the minimum $452 for the month. Between bills from the holidays and my pending medical bills it’s spreading me thin.

Today I was wheezing heavily and coughing at work. This has never happened to me before and lasted for a full 45 minutes. Luckily my job has a clinic on-site. I went down there and both people who worked there and those waiting felt really bad for me. So I was seen a full hour before my appointment. Chest x-ray ruled out pneumonia, tested negative for flu and negative for strep. Got a nebulizer treatment for a half hour, blood work drawn and two injections in my backside. I immediately started to feel better. My prescriptions were only $12. Went home and did 0 work afterward.

My current health plan has a $4000 deductible. That is going to $2000 in about two weeks. Still not enough to make a big difference in what I will end up owing. I hope most of the stuff at the clinic is covered by my co-pay but I cannot say so for sure. The x-rays will be a couple hundred dollars I figure.

Currently I have $197 in my bank account so an emergency fund is non-existant. I need to pull back at least for a month to do some damage control. Credit card balance is just under $700, close to $900 after pending transactions hit. That will be paid off in full after my next paycheck. I put the ATT ($87), Verizon ($150) and electricity bill (not yet added but $212) on it.

It’s a wakeup call that health is important and having insurance matters. Coming out of the holidays without super much massive damage (though I spent more than I wanted to) and that makes me happy. That’s all for now.

 

Update: Maybe the X-Rays aren’t as much as I thought. I see an estimated cost online of $32 for the center I went to.