MARCH 25, 2022

I know there are people who have far worse medical bills and illnesses horror stories, losing houses, going bankrupt etc, but here is something that hit us fairly hard economically. It’s nothing that knocks us down so we can’t get back up, it was just all unforeseen (Ain’t life grand?) and taking a hit on a budget as a result.

I had posted about Isabel’s visit to the emergency room for her ankle — bottom line out of pocket to us for that experience, we finally know,  is $802. That includes our relatively ‘low’ deductible.

Then she just had a fall at night in our home in which she hit her head and cut it open and we had to go to ER again and for this one we will be $450 out of pocket.

This is in addition to the $650 monthly premium for the health insurance (which used to be over a thousand $ but we’re getting some help now from the ‘Obamacare’ funds)…
Not only have the expenses been relatively high, for us at least, as retirees, the problem is also getting straight information from insurance companies and different personnel at the hospital business offices. For example, these bills all come in bits and pieces –that’s the system…it’s not all at once — like when you buy a car, for example, and you can see all of the fees up front. And then there’s that thing about what the insurance companies allow which seems like some sort of a game to me.  Also, we know that in other countries if I were to tell them this story they would be amazed, because in many cases they would just go to the ER and be taken care of and not have any bill at all.

All of this said, come December when Isabel turns 65 and able to get Medicare and the supplemental insurance plan that I have through my union, medical expenses will become manageable again. Premiums will be cut in half and out of pocket will be much lower. Hooray for that. I call these transitions ‘retirement shuffles’ that happen from time to time in different areas of our lives.

I’m an advocate for Medicare for all, in case you can’t tell.

1. In both injury cases we tried not to go to the emergency room at the hospitals we tried to use urgent Care thinking it would be less expensive and they refused us on both occasions saying the injuries were too serious for them to handle.

2. Isabel is doing well although  due to problems with exceptionally slow healing of the ankle, we’re going to seek a reference for a specialist to see if something’s not quite right there that they missed in ER. Which would make the bill more irritating to pay, I would add.

3. This is kind of all been kind of weird for us because neither one of us are really injury prone in a relatively cautious when we move about in a hazardous world. That said, it’s been an unlucky few weeks for Isabel and the couple we form. That’s sad we don’t want to exaggerate our troubles. You don’t have to look far to see people who are far, far worse off. We’ll bounce back, so to speak. Thank you for tuning in to my venting though.

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