After 6 long weeks of waiting BCBS

finally admitted that the mess up in my deductible (not dh’s mine) is their fault and they are redoing it so now I don’t have to shell out $6,000 on deductibles for 2015. Finally! They said it would be a bit before it would show up on the records but gave me a confirmation # to give the hospital and doctors that were getting really cranky about the bill. So that is $6,032 saved (they had also charged us $32 over our out of pocket limit)
We have taken out part B medicare this year affective Jan 1, 2017 so we shouldn’t have this problem again. It came in at a far lower premium than we expected too (about half), so that is good news.
The great news is last week the last of the cancer doctors officially told me she thought I was 100% cured with little to no chance of recurrence on Wednesday. I’ll of course still need to have regular check-ups every 6 months. I can live with that. Sure beats having chemo (she is the chemo doctor) and radiation (talked to him 2 weeks ago). I have one more post op to do next Monday but it is just that a post op and I feel wonderful.
During the Christmas holidays we had a torrential rain storm and Murphy came to play. Blew shingles off our free standing garage, and the roof on the house sprang 4 leaks, which in turn did some serious damage to the ceilings in four places. Furnace also went belly up about that time.
I decided to call the insurance company just in case. Dh didn’t think it was covered because of the age of everything and talked me out of it. Well I decided to go ahead and call them last Thursday. I figured the worst they could do is say no and laugh that I even called The adjuster came out on Friday.
Long and short when it is all said and done they are paying 100% less our deductible for both roofs and ceiling repair. Nothing on the furnace unless the repair man will swear it was lightening damage and there wasn’t that much lightening in that storm and the furnace is 30 years old, so it probably died of natural causes. So glad I called because we are talking a total of about $16,000. And that is why we have full replacement value insurance.
So we are pretty happy campers on that point.

The calling hours for bill collectors is YOUR local time, not theirs

You may be on the east coast and them on the west or vice versa. It also may be a good idea to be able to record phone calls where you can hear both parties. That gives you an audio transcript. I remember DR giving an example of a guy who was called about his brother’s debt (1st mistake) and called outside the permissible calling hours (different time zones, 2nd mistake). He got it all recorded. The company owed money almost had to end up paying the guy who owed the debt to to all the errors they committed. LOL No, it’s not really funny. But the collections industry is known for abusing debtors.

Whether you record phone calls or not just keep really good records of who called you, who you called, what was said, etc. It really is best to do everything by letter. It provides a written record, a time line, names, dates, etc.

Oh, just because they “say” you owe such and such, don’t take their word for it. Get a detailed statement showing all charges, fees, interest, penalties, etc., payments (and sources of payment) to the account and the dates for all those things. Sometimes they screw things up and get it wrong.

If it’s a medical bill, make sure they have properly filed with any and ALL applicable insurance agencies. Our dd had a major procedure last November. The hospital filed with Medicare (she is on disability) but forgot to file with Blue Cross. When I got the bill for about $2500.00, the first thing I asked is whether they filed with both insurances. Sure enough, they did not. I have not heard back from them since! It is important they file in a timely manner because there is often a time frame for submitting claims. If they wait too long the claim will get kicked back for late submission.


Time for me to jump in here (Eldred and Kathryn you knew I would). What you have been told so far is all absolutely correct. You have the power, they don’t. You just have to be tough. You need to learn to “stand on desks”, my phrase for taking control.
You do not have to talk to these people every time they call. By law they can only call between 8:30 am 9 pm no weekends or holidays. If they call you outside that realm get the name number and tell them you WILL report them. Only pick up the phone once every two weeks or so. As long as they can periodically reach you they can’t say you are being evasive. They are NOT allowed to call you at work either. The second they get rude with you tell them they are not allowed to speak to you in that manner. Thank them for calling and hang up.
Now for how to do it. Four walls first like Eldred said, I will add medications to those 4 walls. Send the letter certified where they have to sign for it, when they call tell them you only have x amount of dollars per month to pay bills with and you need some cooperation from your bill collectors because you have fallen on hard times. Do not give them an exact amount of what you have to pay they will try to get it all and leave the other cheetahs at your backside. NEVER give them access to your banking accounts. They will wipe you out entirely.
If they refuse to cooperate, and they will at first for about 6 months, then tell them sorry you just went to the bottom of the list and politely tell them good-bye. Start with the lowest owed first, don’t worry about interest rates, the object is to get rid of the smaller ones. They will slowly all fall in line.
Read the Total Money Makeover and then read it again. It tells you exactly how to deal with the collectors.
What was said about them being trained to lie and be mean is absolutely the truth. My nephew in law was part of that pond scum society for a while. He quit because his morals were too high to act that way.
You want to know how I know all this? Because we’ve been there. Over $300,000 in debt when we started in January 2009 including our two mortgages. In late February that year my husband and adult son both lost their jobs on the same day from the same company. They were unemployed for a total of 18 months each.
We followed the advice of this group, re-read the TMMO many times and worked the plan while unemployed and beyond. Over the next 7 years my husband and myself were in and out of the hospital, Murphy tried to move in with us, but we stuck to the plan. On December 24,2015 We paid off our last debt in full.
If we can do it in our 60’s you can too, because you are probably a lot younger with more energy to work extra jobs.
Post your budget and we’ll help you to get there too.

Keeping this short

but wanted to chime in that I recently (Early January) had a medical emergency (seizure) that put me in the hospital for three days. Unfortunately I was transitioning to a new job and had no health insurance (went to hospital on the day I was supposed to start new job).

We are now looking at about $40K in medical expenses because I was uninsured at the time of care and my spouse is currently unemployed. But he was able to eventually submit a hardship letter to the billing departments and we are looking at a 50% reduction in our medical costs. Nothing to sneeze at but I say this to encourage you to try to find a person / address you can submit a hardship letter to (that’s what we did) because that will put you on file and provide a paper trail.

We were debt free up until this incident and it while it’s stressful as hell, we have a plan and are onboard together to get this paid off as soon as possible.