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Double Payment + Cancelled Health Insurance + Missing Income = Thank Goodness for Emergency Fund

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April and May were awesome months. June…not so awesome. A series of events has left me very grateful for our emergency fund. I’m not happy to have to pull from it, but it has to be done.

First of all, our health insurance company didn’t receive our bill payment from our bank. It is no where to be found. Our bank was nice when they called me about what to do. We issued a stop payment on that check and the money was refunded into our account. They told me they would issue another check on Friday.

Friday came and went and I didn’t see a check going out. I thought maybe it was just a delay with showing online. I checked Monday…nothing. Then Tuesday…nothing. Today, I sent out a check myself. A little bit later, I see that the bank sent out a payment today. I knew the double payment could happen but my husband needs to go back to the doctors shortly. We need our insurance reinstated.

Secondly, there are the medical bills and prescriptions that we had to pay out of pocket because our insurance has been cancelled due to non-payment. That was a little unexpected, but we had enough around to cover that.

Lastly, a trusted advertiser on here has not paid me and they are not answering my emails. If you notice an advertiser on here disappear shortly – you’ll know why. I understand if my check was lost in the mail – it happens. I don’t understand why my emails have not been replied to. That concerns me.

That brings me to our savings account. Thank goodness it is there. I pulled out $500 to cover the double insurance payment and to help cover any future medical bills until our health insurance is reinstated. I didn’t really want to touch it, but there isn’t much else we can do at this point.

It will be very interesting to see how June plays out.


16 Comments

  • Reply Matt |

    Having an emergency fund can be a real life saver. I’ve managed to pull together a very small one and I’m holding onto it for dear life just in case I really need the money.

    I hope everything is alright with your hubby and all of this gets resolved soon.

  • Reply Andrea Smith |

    There are various debt consolidation programs, which gives you a lot of options. You could either select a paid service or go for the many free services available. Thanks for the article!

  • Reply Connie |

    Why don’t you have your health insurance premiums on auto pay? You seem reluctant to use this fantastic service which would have saved you $500 this month. I use it for all my recurring bills so that I never pay a late fee. Yes, it entails leaving $$ in my account at all times, but that is a small price to pay. Before I did this, periodically I paid late fees or had to argue with one company or another. Now, no late fees, no arguments, enhanced credit score. Try it, you’ll like it.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Connie – every payment that we can have automated is automated except for this one and our phone bill (I’ve had numerous problems with their billing so I won’t automate that one).

    I won’t go into specifics, but it is not feasible to have them take the payment automatically. It just won’t work for our family on this one payment.

  • Reply DC Smith |

    Is there any chance the insurance company can deliver a “payment received” email? On the payments I won’t have auto-withdrawn (because I do not trust the payee to have access to my checking account) I was able, via their websites, to activate email announcements that include payment received and payment overdue messages. So I set the payment to go out early and watch for the received notice. If it’s not there by the due date, it’s time to panic.

  • Reply Emmi |

    Our health insurance was on autopay for a while, until that time they took out someone else’s bill, a larger small business bill, for 6 times what we owed. Then there were the follow-on bounced check fees and the emptying the account fee that I had to argue with the benefits company that THEY should pay, since they were the idiots.

    Anyway, sounds like maybe you should just go back to paper checks for these guys. Keep control of it, totally.

  • Reply Eddie |

    (sort of to Ryan): my thought is the bank sent a replacement check “drawn” on her account, so it wouldn’t be seen as a debit the account until it is received and then cashed. Now, it they use a “good-funds” model of billpay, and it took them 3 days to “process it out of her account” after Fridays notification, I’d say they have some ‘splainin’ to do (unless there were not enough collected funds at that time)

    But my question to Tricia would be on her bill-pay program: is it a good-funds (debit upon initiation) or risk-based (send a check under her account for debit upon cashing) program? That determines how one may best schedule and “initiate” payments to certain “life-impacting” payees.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Ryan – my bank was actually pretty responsive. They called me and gave me options. I chose to issue a stop payment on the initial check sent out and then they were to issue a new one (in hindsight – bad call on my part – more on that later).

    DC Smith – I called them today, and I asked the customer service rep if there is any way I could view payments/bills online? His answer? “No, but that would make my job a lot easier if we did.”

    Eddie – My bank debits my account the minute they send the check. They do not provide online access to verify that the check was ever cashed. The only way I can verify is if the vendor complains (or cancels your insurance in my case) or I call them to ask. Bad, bad online bill pay system in my opinion.

    It figures that all this happened with the most important bill we need paid at this moment in time. But – there have been some interesting developments. More on that tonight.

  • Reply Grace |

    And that, my dear, is WHY everyone needs an emergency fund, even a baby one of $1000. I haven’t had one for the past two months, and I regret that daily.

  • Reply Eddie |

    Tricia, Thanks for the extra info.

    Yes, a “good-funds” model has that one drawback you encountered. If it gets lost in the mail, you have no “immediate” knowledge if it. With this type of bill-pay (some modules do have “it has been cashed alerts”, so not all types of bill-pay programs are bad), for those life-impacting bills, you can only plan and budget-ahead to pay it as soon as the bill gets delivered, which allows you a week or 2 to follow-up to the company to see if its been rec’d and posted to your account.

    Alternative: use the good ol’ personal check, envelope and stamp – at least you can see the check hit about a week after mailing (barring it being lost-in-the-mail, which can happen to anyone)

  • Reply Lazy Man and Money |

    Now you’ve got me looking around for the dead beat advertiser. I’m not seeing a lot of suspects though. It almost looks like you have just AdSense and BlogHer. I can’t imagine either one being a dead beat.

    Than again, maybe the ad is already gone. 😉

  • Reply jemila95 |

    i looking around the dead advertiser. i’m not seeing a sus[ects thpugh. it almost looks like you have just for bolgher.
    ===============
    jemila95
    Well, I think that if you’re in serious debt, you should get in touch with a company which provides expert debt advice on various solutions to become debt free, and which doesn’t take any money for it, like a not for profit organization.

    https://www.bloggingawaydebt.com

  • Reply pj |

    Regarding the advertiser: Always try to get your money upfront. I can see how you would give credit to huge advertising deals, but your deals probably don’t have figures, let alone 6. (Not saying that small passive income isn’t great too.)

  • Reply Amir |

    If your coverage still hasn’t been reinstated, please make sure you talk to a supervisor at your insurance company’s call center. You should be able to appeal their decision. Since you have medical needs, it’s worth trying. If they reinstate your coverage, then you should also have some means of having those old claims reprocessed so that you don’t have to pay out of pocket – or at least you can get reimbursed.

    If you find that you can’t get your coverage reinstated, there are some other options for you. Assuming that you don’t have an employer-sponsored health insurance option, you can apply for coverage on your own. You’ll want to talk to a licensed agent or else visit an online health insurance agency like eHealthInsurance.com (full disclosure – I work there!). At eHealthInsurance.com, for example, you can compare your options and apply for coverage. If you wanted to talk with one of our licensed agents, you can call 1-800-977-8860.

    Amir M, licensed agent

So, what do you think ?