quarta-feira, 27 de maio de 2020

Version 2.023

I got a check in the mail for $20.27 from the lab that did some of my blood work a few months ago. They had sent me a bill, which I had paid, now they sent me a refund probably because they charged me a price that was higher than what they had agreed with the insurance company.

Last week, I also had to call the bill department of the hospital where I did a follow-up ultrasound to my abnormal mammogram. That bill was over $900, which I had to pay because I have a high-deductible insurance, so I must pay the first $1800 of medical bills every year; after that, the insurance kicks in. They had told me in the bill that I could pay over six months interest-free, instead of paying it all at once, so that's what I did, except I did not call them to inform them of what I was doing, so, apparently, they expected payment in full.

I explained to the lady that I had merely followed an option they had given me in the bill, but she said that that was their "suggestion," but I needed to contact them to let them know that I was following their "suggestion." This is the part of life where I get lost because if they give me an option or a "suggestion" and I follow it, I assume they recognize that I am following the option that they have given me. Hello -- computers, if-then statements, etc. Anyway, I did not want to pay the bill in full because I thought the price of the exam was very high. Yeah, sure, if I were in Europe, I would pay a lot more in taxes to fund healthcare, but I live in crazy America.

I finally figured out that the reason why my current health insurance is set up like this is twofold. On one hand, I don't pay much for health insurance, just $65 every two weeks, and my employer pays $135. The other reason is that I have a health savings account. This is the first time that I have had an employer that offers us the option of a health savings account; usually, I have only had access to flexible spending accounts and money that we put into an FSA is forfeited if we do not use it within that year.

The beauty of and HSA is that I get to keep it for the rest of my life and I can even pass it on to my heirs, although I do not believe my dog will live that long. I can save up to $3500/year for medical expenses tax-free and I actually don't need to save that much, because my employer contributes $750 per year to that account. So, long story short, I do have the money saved up to pay for my health expenses, but I don't like to spend money, and since that account earns interest and I don't ever have to pay taxes on that money, if I use it for healthcare, I have decided that I am not going to touch it.

But there must be some other malfunction in my brain because my employer gives us up to $500/year to do an annual check-up, but I never submit the paperwork to get some of that money, nor do I have my check-up as early on as possible to get the maximum amount. I also have not enrolled in the doctor by telephone services that we have through work, nor have I enrolled in the service that helps us to manage our health expenses. And I need to go to the eye doctor because I am having trouble reading without glasses, but I have not scheduled an appointment. Instead, I bought cheap reading glasses.

I know: I am a disaster waiting to happen and it's not because routine healthcare is expensive for me; it's just that I am lazy like most other Americans. And my favorite Disney character is Uncle Scrooge...

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