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Life After Credit Card Debt – September Update

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Tricia here with a quick monthly update. Like Beks, I have been sick for the past couple of days. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear to be the flu. It seems like the cold I get when the seasons change.

This month was supposed to be a better month. It was a better month for our discretionary spending since we started a cash based system. It’s our necessary spending for health (supplements, specific healthier foods, etc.) that really hurt. I don’t regret spending the money, but it is really hurting our bottom line.

There’s also the wonderful surprise we received on September 2 from our health insurance company. They decided to raise our rates 28%. Oh, and the first payment with the new rate was due today. That’s an extra $115/month we have to now pay – and we didn’t even get a 30 day notice. If we didn’t need their health insurance, I would have cancelled it right then and there. I understand that rates sometimes need to be increased. We’ve dealt with many companies that have raised rates recently. But giving less than a 30 day’s notice is dirty in my book. We are fortunate – we had a little bit of wiggle room to be able to cover it this month. I know that there are many families that didn’t.

With everything going on, I am still very grateful. We are still credit card debt free and we are still holding our head above water. We’ll keep plugging away with increasing our emergency savings and paying off the rest of our debt, even if sometimes it feels like we are spinning our wheels. Eventually we’ll get some traction ๐Ÿ˜‰


11 Comments

  • Reply Shakela |

    That’s just evil! Can you find a different company? I just worry, if they’ll pull that once I suspect they’ll pull it again.

    Hope you get traction soon. Kudos for continuing to be credit card debt free

  • Reply Another Reader |

    This is what we all have to look forward to with government-mandated insurance….

    The fact you are only treading water make me curious about the income side of the equation. Is your husband still working a full time job? What’s going on with the business? Is it growing and adding to your bottom line?

  • Reply Kari |

    Until recently, credit card companies could pull stunts like this and get away with it. However, enough people complained and the rules were changed this year (thank goodness). A step in the right direction.

    You have my sympathy – this sucks. Highway robbery is what this is. Have you considered fighting this? Yes you had to pay the extra this month to stay insured, but perhaps if you pursue actions like writing to your congressman, posting complaints online and to the Better Business Bureau, you might get at least something back from them. You should not have to pay the higher premium until next month, in my opinion.

    A lot of people figure it’s not worth the effort to complain when they may not get anything back, but as my grandmother said, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And we have to let these companies know that we won’t just lie down and take it.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  • Reply Jen |

    Ugh – That is pretty sleazy. Maybe you should right your Congressional Rep and Senators to complain and suggest they put in a requirement for insurance companies to give 30 day notice? I’ve never ehard of such a thing, but I’m lucky to have health insurance through my employer, which is a large corporation. So I know three months in advance if your benefits are changing due to the annual benefits process.

    But, I’m happy that you’ve been able to keep off the credit card debt! As much as it stinks to have to pay that premium increase, it must feel good to be able to do so… without putting anything on the card!

  • Reply David@DINKS Finance |

    That’s unfortunate they had to raise rates. I wish Congress would allow us to buy across state lines (especially for the people who don’t have the pleasure of getting it from work). You would have a lot more options and could probably get a better deal than you are now.

  • Reply Dara |

    I love that you can still look on the bright side after completely getting hit out of nowhere with that rate increase. I’m so happy for you that you were able to keep your insurance, I know that I would not have been able to afford that. And with going under the knife on Monday, my debt would have just gotten worse and worse.

  • Reply Anna |

    So painful that your rates just got raised!

    I was a little concerned when I saw that your budget is really being stretched by ‘supplements’. As a doctor, I know that almost all supplements (with the exception of iron, calcium, and prenatal vitamins) fall in the category of, “not sure if it actually helps, but it won’t hurt you!” Of course, it WILL hurt you if you can’t afford it. I would encourage you to talk to you doctor and make sure that there is good evidence that the supplements you are taking are actually worth your hard-earned money. He may not realize how big of an impact this has on your budget!

  • Reply Bunni |

    I agree with the other posters. Regardless of why they raised your rates, not giving someone a 30 days notice is sooo unprofessional. But like Kari said, they know they can do this because most people will never complain.

    But on a brighter note, with today’s economy, having NO credit card debt is right up there next to “miracle”. Congrats! =)

  • Reply Checks |

    I think that it’s terrible that they raised your rates. What is wrong here is that the general public just doesn’t know that you have options. You can start shopping for other companies to offer you insurance. They make it so complex to get another policy that you think you are stuck, but you aren’t.

    Please email me if you want to know where you can go shopping and take back some control here.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Anonymous Reader – my husband is working full-time on the business and I am working full-time at a day job. We’ve chosen to reinvest all of our pay back into the business right now.

    Kari – our insurance company had to actually get approval from state officials to raise the rates. They originally wanted to raise them over 50%. So, there may be more “rate-raising” to come.

    Anna – most of our supplements are a result of deficiencies discovered during blood work. The most expensive ones are for our son, and there has been a huge difference with him. Then there are also a few supplements for a condition that I have. From what I have been able to research, the supplements for my condition are very common. However, my condition is not widely accepted as a condition. So the jury is still out on those supplements but I am giving them a try. So far they do appear to be helping.

So, what do you think ?