August 15, 2007

Explanation of How We're Going to Screw You Over

I received our "Explanation of Benefits" from our insurance company for Jack's doctor's appointments thus far. I really feel that they should be called "Explanation of How We're Going to Screw You Over" (EOHWGSYO) because inevitably, that's what they are. And today was no exception to that rule.

I read in our information that Jack's "Well Baby" visits and immunizations were covered 100% by our insurance company. A part of the reason I wanted to have a baby was just so that we could get something from our insurance company that was covered 100%.

So, imagine my surprise when I get the EOHWGSYO from the insurance company and it says we owe $273 for his latest check up and immunizations. "How could that be?" I asked myself. These check-ups are clearly marked as "Covered - 100 percent of the approved amount, no deductible required" in benefits guide. I had several people tell me how lucky I am to have that coverage, and I agreed. We're already trying to figure out how to pay off the thousands that we owe for hospital costs and other debt in our life, so having something covered 100% was . . . well, it was just nice not to have to worry about it.

However, tonight I saw the fine print. Isn't it funny how bad news is so often in the fine print? On our benefits guide it says, "Preventive Care Services - Payment is limited to a combined $500 annual maximum for covered preventive care services." $500. Why even say you'll cover these visits and immunizations 100% if you'll only cover it up to $500? You can't get 2 well-baby visits and all of the immunizations for $500 . . .so how can you possibly get all 6 that the insurance company allegedly covers? It's impossible. The real kicker is that if these "preventive" visits were billed as regular office visits, we'd only have to pay our usual 20% co-pay. The other thing that really gets me is that the doctor's office that told me I was going to cause brain damage to Jack also billed my insurance and will be sending me a bill for the remaining balance. How is this fair?

So, I lost it tonight. I broke down into the ugly cry again. I kept thinking about how if Kyle had a teaching job, we'd have a lot less hospital bills, Jack's doctor's visits would be covered, plus we'd have more money. I kept thinking about how if we had saved our extra money three years ago, we wouldn't be in so much debt now. I keep thinking about the horrible, horrible mortgage that we got fooled into signing off on and how the market's so bad right now so selling or refinancing are years away from being options. I kept thinking about how the camp doesn't provide housing for us and how nice it would be not to have a house payment. I kept thinking about how we may literally never be able to retire. I cry even as I type this because I feel a little like I'm drowning. Kyle keeps reminding me that God has always provided and will continue to provide, but at what point is the issue not God's provision, but us having to live with the consequences of spending rather than saving during the earlier years of our marriage.

I love Jack and know that he was worth every penny that went (or will be paid) toward infertility treatments and hospital bills, but I wish I could go back 5 years and change a few things. I know it's crazy, but I keep hoping we'll just win the lottery (which means I'd actually have to go buy a ticket) or have all of the debt erased. I constantly come back to to this recurring thought of how great I'd feel to have all of our debt erased.

One day as I was dreaming about what it would be like to be debt-free, I realized that the freedom that would come from having our financial debt erased is nothing compared to the freedom that we have from having our sin erased. As trite as it may sound, Jesus died to pay a debt far greater than anything we owe to any hospital or credit card company. I'm blessed just to not have to carry the burden of my sin any longer. I need to live each day realizing that there is a freedom greater than financial freedom that is already mine. Praise God!

I guess I need to stop stressing about retirement and start praising God for how he provides for us each day. My prayer for tonight is that God will use us despite our financial woes and that we will be able to make wise financial decisions. And that we will win the lottery.

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