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The Comfort in Ignoring Things You Can’t Fix

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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.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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