***Before I start venting about our hospital bills, this is just a friendly reminder that Week 3 of 12 Weeks to Better Photography goes up tomorrow. You can view the week's lesson on White Balance here . Let me tell you, mastering white balance was always intimidating for me, but this lesson really helped, and I can already tell it's going to make a HUGE difference in photography in general! ***
We had (and still have) health insurance when Lizzy was born. Still, after insurance paid their portion, we owe about $5000--and that's for a normal, uncomplicated vaginal delivery, after the doctor was already paid. A portion of this is the anesthesiologist's bill, but the majority of it is the hospital bill for myself and Lizzy. After seeing this, I am SO glad that we only stayed one night instead of the three that they were pushing for!
Anyway, I called to make payment arrangements with the hospital. We fully intend to make a payment every month, but it just can't be a huge payment because we're working on one income, and things are tight as it is. My conversation with the billing lady went like this:
Me: Hi, I'd like to set up a payment plan for my bill. I can pay you Y amount per month.
Billing Lady: Oh, I'm sorry, you'll have to pay at least Z per month.
Me: I can't afford to pay Z per month. We would literally have no money for food. Y per month is actually really pushing it for us as it is.
Billing Lady: Well, there's really no point in you even sending a check unless it's going to be for Z. If it isn't for Z, we'll send you to collections.
Me: Well, you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip. I'm sure if you send us to collections, you'll get even less than Y.
Billing Lady: Well, I know going to collections might sound like a good idea now, but then your credit will be shot forever.
Me: Yeah, but we literally cannot afford to pay Z, so I don't know what alternative we have.
I'm sorry, but that whole conversation really ticked me off. Rude, rude, rude. As if anyone actually WANTS to be sent to collections. And that's not even the worst of it. See, I got my hospital bill. But JUSTIN got Lizzy's hospital bill. And the hospital will not consolidate the bills together.Which means that actually, they want us to pay Z amount not once, but TWICE each month. Lovely.
After talking to someone else, I learned that we can apply for a financial assistance program, which would lower the monthly payment based on our income. So, I'm filling out the paperwork for that, and hoping that we qualify. This is so frustrating.