Taking Care of Bidness

by Katy on August 5, 2010 · 12 comments

I wrote last year about taking a day to deal with a bunch of financial loose ends. It was kind of a pain in the tuchus, but I recently did the same thing again with good results. Here’s what I did:

I put the paperwork through to get reimbursed for hosting the UK Soccer coaches. The camps are kind of pricey, and supposedly you get a certain, (yet vague) amount back for feeding and housing the coaches. I’m happy to do this, and would do it for free, but I’m a real fan of letting companies enact their policies. I get annoyed with how this company makes it very difficult to actually get the money that they offer back to the host families.

We will be getting a refund check for hosting four different coaches, and I’ll post about it when this elusive check finally arrives. I’m guessing the check will be around $200, which I certainly wouldn’t throw out of bed for eating crackers.

I called and called about a doctor’s visit from last summer that my insurance company denied. It was “only” $144, but what’s the point of having health insurance if it’s full of errors? I went back and forth between the insurance company and the doctor’s office. I did finally pay the bill as I didn’t want it to go to collections, and then suddenly received a refund check in the mail out of the blue.

This infuriated me as it actually kept me from going to the doctor, as I was afraid that if an ordinary visit was being denied, (I went for strep test, which came back negative) then what would happen if I went in for an actual illness? It certainly gave me sympathy for people who have no health insurance.

Mostly, our financial life is in order. We autopay our electric bill, water, internet, gas, insurance, garbage, mortgage, and car payment. This leaves us just a few bills that need our attention, (Amex, which is a cash-back dealio and a Visa card, which we throw any and and all money at.)

I have fond memories of when my only bills were rent, gas, electricity and a small student loan. Life was so simple back then.

Luckily, the Visa bill will be gone in a couple of months and then the car payment should follow soon afterwards.

Am I done being a grown-up yet? Can I go back to childhood again, Please?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly On Money August 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

A few years ago my husband changed jobs. We were excited because we would be able to get off of our health insurance that had minimum coverage. Let me say right here, it was cheap.
His new company’s health insurance plan supposedly covered ‘everything’ and they would pay 60% of the monthly premium.
What really happened?
1.We pay more now in insurance & out of pocket costs then when we had our ‘crappy’ insurance.
2. Every month I spend time arguing with the insurance company over bills they won’t cover (it’s worth it because they have made mistakes).
3. I have spent hours learning everything I can about our insurance coverage.
Next year we are switching back to our minimum coverage. Hardly any coverage but it will be less frustrating and less money.


Lisa August 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

Taking care of bidness seems to be a never-ending task for me…one that I continuously chip away at on a regular basis. Like you, I autopay everything that I can and have only a few that require personal attention each month. I keep a calendar in the “bill box” and make small notes on amounts and due dates and such so I’ll remember to deduct them from my checkbook. I’m a bit too old to rely on memory like I used to!!! At least once a week, I make time to check my calendar to keep myself up to date. Works for me!

Also, I want to thank you for your mention of The Tightwad Gazette the other day. I have never read it . (I can hear the collective gasps!) This morning I added it to my phoned in book order to the State Library ‘s Services for the Blind. Soon they’ll mail out a copy on cassette or audio book. Yeah!!!!


Beth August 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm

“throw out of bed for eating crackers”? That’s a new one on me. =o)


Karen August 5, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Katy, your phrase about encouraging companies to follow through with their own policies really resonated with me. I have been battling the insurance company for almost a year for reimbursement of about 2500 bucks. I keep the battle alive because 1) I need the money, oh yeah, which is just 80 % of what I had to spend; and 2) It was THEIR policy that they would reimburse me 80% to begin with. Why offer it if you are not going to actually honor your offer? They keep kicking the paperwork back to me, asking for duplicated forms from the M D etc. I have now sent them everything they asked for, many times over , but still they ignore me. I have lost track of the time involved but am not giving up–I’m sure they would like me to! This is one piece of “bidness” I want to see the end of real soon!


Elizabeth B August 5, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Karen, if you have copies of everything you’ve sent them and can demonstrate that they do in fact have it, you may want to look into siccing your state insurance commissioner on them. Fix THEIR wagon. >:)


Karen August 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I just might do that! I have a thick file of the items they have already been sent and I sure could share these with the insurance commission. Thanks for a great idea, Elizabeth!


Kori August 6, 2010 at 6:33 am

Having worked in the medical insurance industry, I can tell you that before you go to the state insurance commissioner with your complaint, make sure you have iron-clad documentation that the insurance company did, indeed, receive your paperwork. If you didn’t send everything certified, signature required, return receipt requested originally, I would do that (even though it’s sending everything again) so you have your proof.

Good luck!


Karen August 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Another great point. So far, they have asked for everything to be faxed, although my audiologist has also sent them documentation via the mail. So, I guess I will do one more round via certified mail and see if I can get someone’s attention. Thanks, Kori!


Robin August 6, 2010 at 4:37 pm

After reading your post regarding the insurance issue the other day I received in the mail a notice from my old insurance company that they were refusing to pay a 2 year old bill that my doctors office had just submitted – lordy! I’m apparently responsible (!) for $700. It’s not my fault the doctor didn’t submit the bill. I’m a tad frustrated.


terilyn August 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Insurance companies are the most disgusting businesses in our nation. They are even lower than bill collectors as a business. You submit viable bills that your policy states they will cover, then they deny them. Or, worse yet, they interfere with the medical care you receive because they tell the hospitals, “we will give the patient 2days in the hospital” or some such other statement. What happens if the patient develops an infection? or takes a turn for the worst? They find any way possible to deny expensive tests. They are just nicey-nice when it comes to collecting premiums or selling insurance, but turn into jackasses when it comes to living up to their end of the policy in many cases. We finally had to hire a lawyer to deal with an insurance company to get hospital bills paid. Just look at State Farm still fighting over covering their policies for Katrina all these years later. Look at all the states who have sued them, trying to make them do the right things. They do anything to sell insurance, collect premiums, but seem to refuse to settle claims in a fair manner. And many insurance companies are that way.


Jay August 12, 2010 at 11:52 am

I can’t believe you have a car payment! That seems like it would be towards the top of your list of what-not-to-do.


Katy August 12, 2010 at 11:58 am

Nope. Number one priority is to drive my family in a safe care. My husband is a paramedic and we know too much.



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