Those of you that have known me for years already know this part of the story, you may want to scroll down to the last paragraph.
When Stephen and I got married 4 years ago (this Thursday), we never imagined we'd face so many financial events all at once. For example, we met by having a car accident. We each had to pay deductibles. We moved before my house sold so we had 2 mortgages for 3 months. On the way to our honeymoon cruise ship, one of my SUV's tires shredded and we almost flipped. There was significant damage to the SVU, it wasn't drivable and we were in the middle of nowhere waiting for a tow truck. We actually had the ship waiting for us before leaving port. So we bought 4 new tires as soon as we made it home from our honeymoon. 8 1/2 months later our daughter was born 5 1/2 weeks pre-mature and was rushed to the children's hospital in Houston, about 2 hours away. Isn't insurance supposed to cover everything? We were in Houston for 3 weeks, eating every meal out and sleeping at the Ronald McDonald House. Since Blue Cross Blue Shield starts their fiscal year Sept. 1, guess what? We were billed thousands for me, the maximum out of pocket $2500 for Lauren before Aug. 31 and then another $2500 maximum out of pocket for Lauren for Sept. 1 etc... PLUS, BCBS said the ambulance ride to Houston was out of network (since they had a different tax ID number than the hospital) so we were billed thousands for that. Then she had to get special shots every month so she wouldn't get RSV. Those shots cost a couple thousand. And the list goes on... More medical bills came when I surprisingly got pregnant with Caleb the next year. Then Lauren had an ER visit.....
We were getting phone calls almost daily from medical bill collectors all while we were barely keeping our head above water with the other bills. I have to say we were NEVER late with other payments but we were very worried about the mounting medical bills....until a few friends in the mortgage business reassured us that while medical goes on your credit report, it is not held against you when you want to buy a house or car. SERIOUSLY? As long as you pay something, it will not reflect poorly on your report! So we have been paying about $10/month per bill since then. Wish we would have known that sooner. And by paying $10 per month, we have really gotten some surprising deals. Which leads me to the point of this rambling:
Stephen got a call the other day about an outstanding bill at the hospital. It was combined for Caleb's jaundice bloodwork, Lauren's visit to the ER, and one other thing. The remaining total was $684 but she said if we would pay $384, she would forgive the other $300. She said she would take two payments of $192. I told Stephen to ask her what about if we payed $350, could she forgive the rest? AND SHE DID! Then you think what if I offered $325? Or $300? Now if we had the money to pay off our medical debts, believe me, we would, but since we don't (remember I am a teacher and Stephen is a SAHD), we will take whatever deals come our way!
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