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Medical Bills…

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My daughter struggles with a reoccurring health issue. It’s genetic. My mother has the same issue so I’ve been around it my whole life. My mother has only needed formal medical attention a handful of times in more than 60 years. The rest of the time, it just goes away. Painful? Yes. Miserable? Yes. But the body is an amazing machine that does great repair work.

My daughter has had bouts with it but never serious enough to need medical attention. I’ve taken her to her pediatrician multiple times in the past and they always send me home to let it run its course. The issue never lasted more than a few days. She had a bout recently. I was avoiding hospitals for obvious reasons. Her health concern is an annoyance but it’s far less serious than COVID-19. I was also avoiding taking her in because I knew lab testing was going to be costly and thanks to our decision to switch to an HSA this year, all costs are out of pocket until the deductible is met.

This time, she was still suffering a week later. Then she started throwing up, a sure sign things were getting worse, not better. Ugh.

We decided the ER was too dangerous and took her to Urgent Care (a decision that saved us $2,000). I was seeing dollar signs with each test they proposed. We moved forward with every test they suggested only to discover the issue would correct itself. She didn’t need medications, she just needed time for her body to heal itself.

We were fortunate that no medical intervention was necessary but it’s always a delicate dance between ‘paranoid mommy’ and ‘head in the clouds mommy’. It’s so hard to gauge pain or sickness in young children. Does her tummy really hurt? Or is she just trying to get out of eating broccoli?

We were notified by our insurance company that we should expect several hundred dollars in medical bills. We received a bill for less than $50 today with a note that if we were impacted by COVID-19, they would negotiate further. I can’t thank our hospital enough for understanding that everyone is hurting a bit right now. We are expecting one more bill for $120 but we can cover that.

Not so bad! We’re going to pay it from our budget this month and leave the HSA intact. Since the HSA is invested, we’ve decided to only touch it when we can’t pay a bill without touching the emergency fund. That and the market is killing it right now so we’d rather keep it there! HSA is a FANTASTIC investment vehicle. If you haven’t looked into it, please, please, please do!


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