:::: MENU ::::

Medical Bills Rolling In


Medical bills rolling in

In my initial introduction here on the site, I mentioned some of my medical bills briefly. I didn’t say much about them because, at this time, I still don’t really know how much I owe. However, the medical bills have started rolling in and it’s pretty overwhelming.

Health Issues After Giving Birth

I’ll preface all of this by saying that I have a pre-existing chronic condition called Idiopathic intracranial hypertension. I was diagnosed with this when I was eight years old and have had some complications with it throughout my life, mostly blinding headaches, nausea, and vision changes.

I had a fairly easy pregnancy. Unfortunately, a couple days before her due date, my blood pressure started to spike and I had some swelling. The doctors were worried about preeclampsia and decided that inducing me would be the best option. My blood pressure hasn’t been under control since then.

I neglected to go to the doctor for a while and suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety pretty badly. About a year after I had my daughter, I started having issues with UTIs and kidney infections. I also found out I was pregnant again. Unfortunately, the pregnancy was not viable because of all the other health issues I was having at the time. The little one just wasn’t forming the way they should.

During this time, I found a doctor to help get my blood pressure under control. I also had several other concerns, including nearly constant pelvic pain (which has been going on for months and months now). Additionally, I had swollen breast tissue I was concerned about and I was back to having daily headaches. I also needed an allergy panel done and an eye exam was recommended as well. It all seemed to pile on at once.

Our Insurance Costs and Deductible

Thankfully, my husband has a full-time job with an international company. They have decent insurance – we have United Health. We pay about $600/month to cover the three of us for medical, dental, and vision. That’s not bad at all, but our deductible is around $3,000. Until we’ve met that, the insurance covers very specific visits (preventative care, vaccines, etc.) or 1/3 of the medical cost.

How Much Do I Owe?

There are still bills coming in at this time (because I’ve had to go to more appointments recently). Right now, I owe about $600 to my primary care doctor. I’ve established a payoff plan with them at $40 biweekly until I have the money to just pay it off outright.

On top of that, I have additional bills coming in from specialists I’ve had to see over the last several months. I’ve had two ultrasounds (one on my breast tissue and one on my pelvic area), I have had a chest x-ray, and all of the bloodwork I get done is billed through a separate entity as well. This could potentially be relieved by switching to a different doctor’s office (I’m not sure).

Not to mention, I had to have an allergy panel done at the end of December, which I’ve just received a $255 bill for. I also have an eye doctor bill that just came in for $310.

All of this money to be told I need glasses and they can’t find anything else wrong.

Switching Doctors & Facing More Bills

All of these bills have been coming in and what makes it even more frustrating is I still have no answers. I’m in pain daily and there is no discernable reason as to why. On top of that, I’ve been on blood pressure medication that only helps sometimes. My heart will race when I’m sitting there relaxing and my blood pressure will shoot up out of nowhere (we are talking 170/100 at times with a resting heart rate of 110 bpm).

My doctor suggested more testing, but I’m honestly exhausted with it. I don’t want to pay for more tests to potentially still have zero answers as to what’s going on.

On top of that, I am just feeling unwell every day. So, it feels like I’m wasting money on my healthcare because nothing is being resolved. Several people have suggested that I get a second opinion on things and see another doctor, but then I’m looking at the same bills coming in from another office.

Right now, I am staying away from the doctor for a few months to see if I can get a handle on these issues on my own at home. I really have no interest in being poked and prodded anymore, but it feels so defeating too.

Readers, what would you do in this situation? Am I wrong for not seeking out a second opinion?


  • Reply Angie |

    Its early on in the year. I would plan to spend the full deductible in 2023, then go to as many doctors, tests, as you can to try to get answers. Avoiding the doctor is not going to magically heal you. It’s better to have all your costs in one calendar year so if you hit the deductible, all visits after that are covered for free or at drastically reduced rates. Sounds like you’re 1/3rd of the way there already.

    I feel ya on the frustration of not getting answers though. And going to endless appts is tiring. Stick it out though.

    • Reply Amanda Blankenship |

      Thank you! That seems to be the consensus – I’ve got another appointment on 4/20 with a specialist to do some additional tests. We will see how it goes!

  • Reply Shanna |

    ugh, that sounds very grueling. If your max out of pocket is $3000, then getting everything done early in the year leaves you the time and opportunity to do further testing in that calendar year that should be covered at 100% once you meet the max OOP. Your health is so important, I would definitely keep following up with it. Stress and anxiety can also wreak havoc on your physical health and manifest in physical symptoms. I hope it gets figured out!

    • Reply Amanda Blankenship |

      Thank you!! I’ll keep everyone posted as I continue trying to navigate this financially and otherwise.

  • Reply Kerry |

    If you’ve had COVID, the mysterious heart racing and blood pressure can definitely be caused by that. I would also bet that long Covid exacerbates idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Unfortunately most physicians have not kept up on the research about these connections.

    • Reply Amanda Blankenship |

      Interesting! I’m actually one of the very few people who have still never gotten it – crazy, I know!! I got tested for it a couple of weeks ago, but it turned out to just be a bad cold.

  • Reply Walnut |

    UHC has a wonderful portal to manage all of your medical costs, deductibles, out of pocket max’s, etc. In healthcare heavy years, I budget for the out of pocket max and then maximize it by ensuring as many appointments as possible land within my effective year (depends on your employer plan, but often calendar year).

    So check where you’re at for the year. If you’ve hit your deductible and can plan for the out of pocket max, then pursue second opinions and follow up testing like its your job. Don’t carry it over into next year.

    • Reply Amanda Blankenship |

      Thank you! I’ll have to check out the portal. We’ve honestly not had health coverage until I got pregnant two years ago. So, much of the insurance world is still a mystery to me.

  • Reply Janie B. |

    You will feel *far* better if you get a diagnosis for the heart-racing issue.
    I first had it as a teenager when I had strep throat along with mononucleosis.
    I wasn’t bothered by it again until I was in my 40s in 1991.
    Finally, I was diagnosed with sinus-node re-entry. (Essentially, I have an “extra” little pathway in the pacemaker part of my heart.)
    I found it difficult to believe my cardiologists when they assured me that, while rare, it wasn’t fatal.
    Well, here it is–2023, and I’m still here! I guess that those doctors knew their business!!
    I’ve learned to control the heart-racing episodes with acupressure. It is quick, easy, and FREE!
    Now, granted, you may have something entirely different going on in your case; nonetheless, I believe that simply *knowing* what the problem is will provide a lot of relief. The stress of not knowing only exacerbates the situation.

    • Reply Amanda Blankenship |

      Thank you so much for your comment – I agree! I’ll probably feel so much better once I know what’s going on. It is just so exhausting at this point, but I know I’ve got more than just me to think about too. A happier, healthier me means a better life for the whole family.

So, what do you think ?