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What I learned today: Dr. Bills are going to be a permanent part of our budget


While the title (“Dr. Bills are going to be a permanent part of our budget”) tell you how I am feeling, that doesn’t mean that it is necessarily true. I honestly just feel like no matter what, we seem to always have some sort of medical expense that we are dealing with. Given we have four kids, that tends to make things more expensive, but it seems like from ear infections to  appendicitis there is something that always seems to be happening.

How are we dealing with this? Of course we give a small medical allowance in our budget every month and theoretically, when it is not being used, it rolls over to the next month, but we have since exhausted that and way exceeded our budget for medical every month for the last several months. My husband has been working overtime at work so we can get some extra money to get medical bills paid off, but other things come up too, and then with Christmas, it took a lot of discipline to use that money to pay bills instead of splurging.

We have called the companies and set up “payments” but most of them wouldn’t work with us beyond a 3 month window to pay things off without heavy interest charges, even bills that were as much as $1000…I’m sorry, but we don’t just have $340 extra dollars laying around to hand over THREE MONTHS IN A ROW. Especially around Christmas time.

So enough of my venting. Sorry. We did setup payment plans with each company, and with the overtime my husband was able to work we have paid just about all the bills off. But then over this last weekend we accumulated over $200 more in bills. I am thankful for technology that allows our children to be treated and healed, but it is also hard to pay so much. At this point, after looking back on our budget for this year, it looks like we are going to have to budget a little more for medical so we have a bigger reserve. Through most of the spring, summer, and fall months we stay relatively healthy. Hopefully we have had our rounds already this winter and we can stay healthier now.

How do you deal with medical bills and paying them off?

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Monday 31st of December 2012

Oh boy, I feel ya on those doctor bills. What I've learned is whenever an expense is somewhat anticipated (not a trip to the ER), I actually call around and get quotes. It's a pain because most office managers don't even know how much things cost, but there's no reason you shouldn't be able to price compare with doctors too. I also make sure the doctor's know that I am paying cash (even if it's an HSA or flex spending debit card, it's still considered cash) customer and I am looking for every way to cut costs. I always ask if certain things are required or optional. For example, when my son needed minor surgery on his toes, the Dr knew about our situation and offered to do it in office rather than at the hospital- cutting costs by hundreds of dollars. Consider all your options and good luck.

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