We are lucky in that our medical insurance is a non-issue. The clinics send them the bills and they pay them. Period. Then, after adjustments and payments are applied, the clinic bills us for our co-pay portion. Simple, right? Ideal, right? Right … when it works!
The other day I got a bill for $6,500 for a couple of expensive procedures. YIKES! Our maximum co-pay for the YEAR is less than that. It was very upsetting, because I take all of my bills very seriously (even the ones that I can’t afford!).
What to do … call them, right? Of course, except that I opened that particular envelope at about 6 p.m. which was too late to call them but early enough that I could worry about it all night.
Was there a problem (almost certainly) or was something done that wasn’t approved properly and therefore not covered? If it wasn’t approved, am I really on the hook for that much? Holy cow… I can’t come up with it; not even close.
I had a decision to make: Was I going to fret about this and be upset all evening, or let it go until I could actually do something about it? The first option was the obvious choice, but certainly not the easiest. How do you simply “turn off” the worry and frustration?
I decided to ignore it until I could actually do something about it, and it made a huge difference in my state of mind. Here are some things that helped:
1. I got busy with something else to distract me from the issue.
2. The knowledge that there was something I COULD do about it helped enormously, even though I had to wait in order to do it. Sometimes there are situations where you are helpless to do anything… THAT is REALLY frustrating!
3. In this situation I knew that my chances of a good outcome were excellent, which also helped to calm my fears.
Here’s the point: when an upsetting situation comes up that you need to take care of, but are temporarily unable to, put it aside until you can. I know: easy to say, hard to do … but most coping strategies ARE hard!
In my case, it turned out that the clinic’s claim had been rejected due to a clerical error but they apparently hadn’t noticed.