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Drowning in Medical Bills!

$360 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 7 people in 2 months
I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll start at the end, which is gall bladder surgery scheduled in a few days. But that's only after a  hospital stay where Rob was poorly treated, then an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, and a HIDA scan. Everyone wants money, which we don't have. He's been feeling so very badly for the last year or more that he hasn't been able to work much. More recently, he hasn't been able to work hardly at all.  I am slightly underemployed (only allowed to work 35 hours/week). I've tried to find other work, but at almost 60 years old, no one is going to hire me, so I'm stuck where I am. 

We have insurance through my employer, but can't afford anything but the most minimal coverage, which means high deductibles and high co-pays. Of course, this all happened at the end of the year, so we have to start over to meet the deductible, so we'll be paying for a good bit of the surgery.  We have to maintain the insurance because he is diabetic. 

We've been selling his guitars just to help pay bills, but there aren't that many left and once those are gone, we won't have much else.  

We just got a bill for the hospital stay. We owe over $4200 just on that. The best payment plan is as much as a car payment. We haven't even started getting the bills for the endoscopy, colonoscopy (both of which we had to shell out nearly $900 each up front) and HIDA scan, let alone the surgery on Wednesday.

7-8 years ago we lost everything we had when real estate tanked. Most of our investments were in real estate and when that started to tank, we liquidated anything else we had to try to hang on to our house and our other property. It was a mistake, but it's the choice we made and we've been living with it. Since then, we have been meticulously restoring our credit to an excellent rating. That is, until we started piling up medical bills after he got bit by a brown recluse spider which caused complications we weren't prepared for. But we still maintained - going through what savings we had to pay the bills.

Now we're tapped out, cards are close to maxed out, and we don't even know yet how bad it's going to become. I don't know how we're going to pay for this at all and I don't even know how much it will all cost.

Meanwhile - the landlord wants to raise our rent.
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Rob continues to recover and is slowly getting back to work. Looking forward to this being in our rear view mirror!

Still waiting for the rest of the bills to come in - I wince every day I open my mailbox. I have applied for financial assistance from the first hospital - should be hearing something soon, I hope. I did get a bit of an assist through my employer, but it still leaves a lot to be paid.

Mostly, I wanted to update this to once again thank everyone for helping. I don't want anyone to feel taken for granted or that we'll ever forget the help we got. I think of every single one of you every single day. I can't begin to express the gratitude that we both feel and I worry that I haven't thanked everyone enough.
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Yesterday was the first day Rob felt like his old self again. He's lost 4 more pounds since the surgery, but his appetite is coming back and he's upbeat and positive. He worked a bit yesterday and it didn't wipe him out like he'd been dealing with before. So his recovery is going well.

Thanks to the donations, we've been able to pay a couple of smaller bills - $80 here, $40 there - another for $145 that I've got to send for review. Saw the initial hospital charges from the surgery - those are around $53,000.00. Of course, we won't be on the hook for that much, but it's $49K at the other hospital and our portion is over $4200. So I'm guessing we're looking at at least another $4500 for just the hospital. The other bills from that stay haven't started coming in yet. Still not sure how we're going to swing this, but again we just can't thank you enough for your help!
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Well, further complications did not present themselves and Rob seems to be on the way to a nice recovery.

Already, we are learning some important lessons about medical billing. So far, two insurance claims have been denied from the initial hospital stay in November. This causes the bills to us to be higher. The first denial was because the claim was not processed to the proper insurance. I contacted my care coordinator through my employer. She took care of updating the biller and I am waiting on my adjusted invoice instead of the $900 they billed me for initially. Today, I received an invoice where half of it was a denied claim. I looked a little more closely and see that the reason it was denied was because the provider submitted it twice. So I'll be contacting the care coordinator to take care of that - hopefully saving me another $290.00.

The lesson is to ALWAYS scrutinize your bills! Apparently, mistakes are frequent!
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This is just an update to say the weekend wasn't too bad. Not much of a birthday yesterday, but as soon as he's really up and around, I'll make that up for him. But he is feeling a bit better.

The next hurdle is today. In about an hour, we go to hopefully get the cath out. It's horribly uncomfortable for him, so this will be important. If it looks good, then he can really start to heal. If it's a no-go, then we're looking at another procedure which will tell us if he needs more surgery.

I'm checking the mail twice a day...aside from the hospital bill from the ER in November, we've gotten nothing. I'm nervous because in the past, when we were dealing with the spider bite, I only found out about a couple of bills when they went to collections over bills we never saw! I'll start making calls this week to find out what is taking so long.

Thanks again to everyone that's donated. It definitely helps get us down the road!
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$360 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 7 people in 2 months
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