Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I learned something about our Insurance

Today, I learned that our new insurance we signed on for this year does not include our deductible in our Out-Of-Pocket Maximum. So, our real "Out-Of-Pocket Maximum" is equal to our deductible plus what the Insurance company calls the out-of-pocket maximum. Because of this, I had to add $1,500 to Year 3 and Year 4's estimated costs. You should see that reflected now in the new totals. to the right.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Account Set Up

We just set up a new checking account to be able to pay Ben's Medical Bills. It is a "For the Benefit of ..." Account under Ben's name, but since he is a minor, than I am the manager of the account. We did this so that we can better keep track of donations and disbursements of Ben's Medical expenses. It is just cleaner accounting, but In some ways it will be easier to pay for his Bills as well.

For those who want to give a donation for Ben's Medical Costs, there are still two ways to donate. You can donate online by using the donate button to the right. Those proceeds will go into this new account. The other way you can donate is by sending a check made out to "Gary Jarvis for the Benefit of Benjamin Jarvis."

I also want to really thank all who have donated to date. As you can see, Ben is doing pretty well in donations compared to estimated costs. That is making a huge difference. I also want to give a special thanks to The United Food and Commercial Workers Union for helping us get the new account set up.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Updated Financial Estimates

I just wanted to let you all know that I changed the cost estimates because I learned that the enrollment period for my insurance is actually January to December. That changed the estimated costs per year a little bit.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lessons Learned in Medical Payments

Managing all of the claims, bills, and medical payments has been an interesting learning process. First, I was receiving claims that were not being approved, because the Insurance company thought that Ben had a pre-existing condition. We had to submit some paperwork to prove that he did not have a pre-existing condition and have those claims re-submitted. Then we would receive bills that did not match up to certain claim. Finally the hospital wanted to charge us up front for what they "thought" our deductable or co-pay might be. The problem with that last one, was that by the time the hospital actually submitted the claim, I would owe nothing because Ben's deductable and co-pay limits were eaten up by other medical costs. I would have had to go back to the hospital for a refund.

So this is what I have learned in all of this.
1. Watch every claim. One claim went through as out of Network, and I would have had to pay $1,560 for just one Dr. visit. Fortunately, I made some calls to the Dr. and insurance and everyone realized that it was not out of Network and I owed nothing, the insurance took care of it.

2. Make sure claims and bills match. I received one bill where there were charges not included in the claim. The Dr. office said that their records showed that we did not have insurance, so I promptly gave them my insurance info, and they re-submitted the claim.

3. Fill in insurance paperwork promptly.

4. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up

5. Ask for what you want. If you don't ask, you don't receive. When the hospital wanted to bill me upfront, I asked, "Are you billing me at the contracted amount of my insurance," they said, "Probably not," I asked, "By the time the hospital submits the claim, are you sure that my deductable will not have been reached yet?" The answer is no. So I suggested that they have set up the system for me to have to come back for refunds each time they charge me, and that my desire would be for everything to go through the claim process first, and then the hospital can bill me. That way it will be a lot cleaner, and we reduce the administrative nightmare of refunds. I assured the hospital that Ben is in this process for 3 years, and I do not want to jeopardize his medical care by not paying, so I am motivated to pay, and second they know where I live. The hospital said, "That does seem fair."

6. I have learned that the hospital, the Dr.'s offices, and my insurance are really great. Managing medical costs for a condition that Ben has is never easy, but all of the parties have resolved issues quickly, and in a professional manner.

Thank you all who have supported Ben, and thank you for all of the great meals people have brought. You all are amazing to us.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Many Thanks

We have been blessed by so many loved ones. The meals people are bringing have been wonderful, and we are grateful for those who have donated to Ben's medical costs. I know many people have offered gifts, letters of inspiration, prayers. This has increased our joy as we know how we are not alone in all of this.

The first financial benchmark has been made with the first year of estimated cost already provided. I truly am amazed.

Thanks to you all and we will keep you up to date on what is going on.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Estimates for full treatment posted

I was able to sit down and estimate the medical and care costs for the next 3 years. Time will tell if these are accurate based on my assumptions, but we will let you know if anything changes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Donation Update Feature

You will notice that I updated the Blog with a "Donation Update" feature. My hope is that this will help keep everyone in the "know" as to what the need is, and what has been raised. I plan on updating it weekly or depending on activity, as needed.

As you can see, much of the financial need for year 1 is being provided, and we are grateful. When we get a better sense of what the costs might look like for year 2 & 3, we will post it out on this Blog.

Thank you to everyone who have donated so far, and for all of the wonderful meals that have come our way. We are truly grateful for all of the support.