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An Interesting Weekend

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I haven’t felt much like blogging the last few days. A series of events left me a bit bummed and with some extra work on my hands.

First up, my husband is sick again. He called me from the doctors office, “They are saying our insurance is cancelled so I had to pay for the full cost of the visit.”

Crap. It shouldn’t be cancelled. We paid it! I called Blue Cross and they said that they didn’t receive payment. I paid this bill via online bill pay, so I called my bank to see if it cleared. According to them, it didn’t clear but it should have been received by Blue Cross.

A claim has been filed and it is put on the top of the list since it is for our health insurance. I have no idea how everything is going to pan out. I’m only a few months into using online bill pay and now I guess I get to really test out the system. I sure hope things are resolved soon before more medical bills come in. The money we already paid has depleted the little buffer I had in our checking account.

Secondly, like many bloggers out there, my blog was hacked. It wasn’t a huge hack (it redirected search traffic) and everything is still here. That’s a good thing. But I feel pretty violated over the whole thing. I spent hours trying to fix everything and in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but wonder why. Why do people feel the need to do things like that? It makes me very sad.

Lastly, my husband needs to change his diet for health reasons. Overall, that is a good thing because all of us will be eating healthier. But after shopping today, it is clear that our new diet is going to increase our grocery costs. We have to say bye-bye to the cheap processed foods that we buy. We should have done that a long time ago, though.

Nothing really major. They are all things that can be fixed or we can work through them. I didn’t get our May spending report finished, so expect to see that tomorrow night.


18 Comments

  • Reply Nichole |

    It is so sad that healthy food is more expensive than processed/junk food. We struggle with this often. Although, I’m sure being healthy is cheaper than paying medical bills!

  • Reply Sherri |

    It’s rough when a few bad things hit all at once — they can be overwhelming as a whole. I hope the billing snafu is cleared up and you can take solace in some yummy healthy food (even though it was more expensive).

    This just means that you’ve got a GREAT few days coming up since you just had a tough few days. (Hey go with it, I’m the optimism girl today.)

  • Reply Aric |

    For processed foods, my trainer put it this way: Pay more now and eat healthy or pay a lot more later and be miserable while making the health industry that much richer.

    I got rid of most processed foods and make everything at home as often as I can. Amazingly, I don’t think eating healthy is costing me that much more and I more proud of what I eat since I made it and I know what is in it and where it came from.

    I am sorry to hear about your insurance snafu. I got one medical bill to the tune of a few thousand dollars and had a heart attack. Luckily, it was simply calling the billing office and reminding them that they were supposed to bill insurance and not me. Certainly an evil way to start your day!

  • Reply onechancetolive.com |

    Sorry to hear about your frustrating occurence of events. I can only hope that my blog gets big enough that people feel the need to hack it. I guess you can take it as a compliment? Keep your head up and focus on the positives. You only have one chance to live 🙂

  • Reply nygirl |

    Hi Tricia: Sorry about your recent problems. Things will get better, it’s just a bump in the road.

    Processed foods are a killer….and yes, it just isn’t right that eating for optimum health should cost so much more. I try to shop only the outer aisles of the grocery stores. The middle aisles and the “end Caps” are what get you.

  • Reply Karen |

    Don’t ya just hate it when everything seems to gang up on you??!! Hang in there! Lucky you have a cushion! Look on the bright side. Lot’s of people really DON’T have health insurance! I try to eat healthy and I think it is very expensive. But as previous posters have stated, it is worth it in the long run. As far as the hacker, I’m with you. I just don’t get it. Do they not have enough to DO??? There is a special place in cyberhell for them……

  • Reply Jim ~ mydebtblog.com |

    I’ve gone through an insurance mishap myself where two plans were waiting to hear from each other. It took a whole year before the stupid hospital even billed me for the visit! I was lucky to explain to them they waited far too long to bill me if insurance was not picking it up. They ended up waiving the bill since it was their mistake.

    The blog hack is probably, lack of a better reason, for pure entertainment. It is a challenge for them to try to gain access and mess stuff up, which it seems like they did. Change your passwords and have a backup plan just incase they come back.

  • Reply justine |

    Amen to your husband (and family) eating healthier! Don’t fall into the false assumption that it’s cheaper to eat unhealthy, processed foods. That’s not true. Whole grains, lentils, beans and other healthy items are incredibly cheap, especially when purchased in bulk. Fruit and vegetables can be very cheap, depending where you purchase them. A bag of generic frozen veggies is just as cheap as any processed item, and a piece of fruit is cheaper than a candy bar.

  • Reply Debt Reduction Formula |

    Sorry to hear about all these things happening at once.

    A note of encouragement: eating healthy doesn’t have to be more expensive.

    Refined/processed foods lack fiber, so we often eat more than we should. But whole foods contain fiber and better nutrition, so you usually eat less of them before feeling full.

    When you’re eating the right foods, you’ll find you usually won’t eat as much.

    And as another commenter wrote, eating healthy is cheaper in the long run when compared to the cost of medical bills.

  • Reply Susan |

    Hi Tricia,

    Try to keep the faith – you have had a couple of really bad days. Personally, I have had better luck NOT using Bill Pay. I do it the other way – go to the company that wants the money and set up an electronic transfer. That way, they are responsible for taking the money and if it doesn’t happen they accept responsibility for it. This process seems to have fewer problems.

    Good luck and remember that in a month – this too will be a memory.

    Take care!

  • Reply Eddie |

    “Some” entities (health care providers primarily for some reason) farm out “payment processing” to 3rd party companies, and I don’t mean to a lockbox at a bank.

    Also, if you change service level, your account number may change, along with the remit-address, thus delaying or otherwise having an account or payment go to “non-post”. That happens when you may not catch those changes between your new bill and what you have setup for online payment.

    It will (not can, but will) take 3 weeks or more to get “research” on any payment from BCBS here in Massachusetts.

    The trigger here is that if BCBS will not accept the payments electronically from your bill pay service (the Payee controls how, not the bill pay service), then it goes by paper check. Knowing that it’s best to either use your local BCBS website to pay (if it has it), or use a personal check so you can track if/when it clears, and if it doesn’t within a week of mailing, issue a new one.

  • Reply mv |

    I’m with Susan. My credit union has bill pay, but I’ve only used it for private party transfers, never for actual bills. I set up the automatic bill pay via the actual company to either deduct it from my checking account, or charge my credit card, which I pay in full at the end of the month (and collect the air miles). I never thought of it being me not trusting the online bill pay through my financial institution, but come to think of it, I think that’s why.

    Good luck w/the BCBS thing. Getting medical providers to sort out bill paying issues sometimes is a bear…hopefully it won’t take too long.

  • Reply My Crazy Debt |

    I’m hoping you can get your insurance straightened out.

    I think its a shame that processed foods are cheaper than whole natural foods.

  • Reply Twiggers |

    I’ve been using online bill pay through my bank for over 5 years and have never had a single problem! Sorry to hear about yours!

  • Reply Matt |

    Tricia, I’m quite surprised that you had any problems with bill pay I would have figured that everything would have been 100% rock solid. I’ve been using it for the better part of a decade (I think I must have been one of the first users back in ’99) without any problems.

    Good luck with the shopping and the health of the hubby!

  • Reply Emmi |

    I didn’t think they could cancel your insurance without sending you a cancellation notice first, even if you don’t pay right on time. Maybe your state is different or something. You are reminding me why I bite the bullet and pay ahead of time by more than a payment, to avoid this. I never let it get into negative, so if a payment is missed, the worst case is that the bill goes to approximately zero owed and then I know something went wrong with the payment, but then I have 30 days to figure out what before they even issue a bill where I owe anything. I’m just super paranoid about having anything go wrong on the insurance front.

    And I’ll second others about healthy foods being cheaper. You need to change cuisines basically and not center your meals around meat. I shop at the ethnic groceries (chinese, korean, indian, and hispanic), which are far cheaper overall and sell things like 50 bags of bulk things for far far less per pound than buying 5 pound versions at the local supermarket. Their fresh veges are cheaper too. You should base your meals on beans, lentils, split peas, etc. as they are dirt cheap sources of protein and fiber. That’s what we live on here. And we also save a ton of money baking our own bread using the deadly simple NY Times no-knead recipe.

    But I don’t envy you sorting out the insurance thing. Ick. But keep your chin up and work those phones to find out what has to happen next to set it right.

    Oh one other thing. Every time I make an online payment, I print the resulting page to a pdf file on my computer in a special folder, so if I need to prove that I tried to pay, I have the transaction number off that and the screen grab.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Emmi – I didn’t think they would cancel it so immediately, either. Usually you get at least a few days, but I guess not anymore. It may have always been like that, but I never noticed because we rarely use our health insurance.

  • Reply Rob Madrid |

    I understand the feeling, I’ve bit bummed about our budget as well, haven’t blogged about it yet.

    Good News Lynnae over at Being Frugal just did an article on shopping and eating Healthy on a budget.

    Shopping for a Month

    and Part Duex It may be worth taking a look.

So, what do you think ?