Thanks, everyone, for all your advice, well-wishes and words of encouragement in the comments. And thanks to those of you who used ‘Contact Me’ to reach out directly. Thanks for talking me down from the ledge so-to-speak. I feel like I have a gameplan for the upcoming months. Read More
Short post today, as things are hectic with work. I am looking forward to the long weekend!
Instead of my customary $1,000 payment at the end of the month, today I only put $700 towards the student loan. Why? Overspending in my budget. In particular, I’ve been spending a lot of money on health care. My health fund, which I funded at an unusually high $2.5k early this year, is already exhausted.
First, the good news.
I finally got my 2016 bonus check ($4,922)! Woot!! I now have ALL the money! lol
This is how I have allotted it.
- Health maintenance fund ($2,500)
- Opportunity fund ($1,250)
- Emergency fund ($222)
- Checking account / slush ($500)
- Evil Student Loan extra payment ($500)
I also made my first $2,650 monthly mega payment (up from $2,300). The resulting balance ($83,896) barely looks like it’s even moved since last month. Still pretty much in the mid-80’s.
Why is so much going to my health fund? Keep reading… Read More
I got the claim details email from by insurance provider not long ago for my recent emergency room visit. I became physically nervous when I saw that email in my inbox. The dollar amount on that form could impact my financial situation for months (or years) if my insurance company wanted to find loopholes to deny benefits. What was the financial damage? Well, in short, better than feared, worse than hoped.
The hospital bill was $11,287.03. My portion, thanks to my (high deductible) insurance, will be $3,020.50. I haven’t been presented with the bill yet so I have some time to plan. With my savings and another paycheck or two, I should be able to pay this off relatively quickly. Unfortunately, this will drain my savings back to nothing.
Immediately after that I will need to start saving money to pay for the surgery. I should have another $2,000-$3,000 to pay for that before maxing out my out-of-pocket expenses for the year.
Thanks to blonderbetterfasterstronger for reminding me about my HSA (Health Savings Account). For many of us with high-deductible health plans, we also have an HSA that allows us to save up to $3300 a year, pretax to be saved for health care costs. If used to cover health care, the money does not incur tax at payment either and is thus 100% tax-free. I opened my HSA last year. I should have about $2,000-$3,000 in there by now.
I don’t want to use this HSA money now, however. I’d prefer to build up my HSA savings as we are allowed to house our HSA money in investments to grow it over time. I think of it as a mini retirement investment account for healthcare. It will serve me better to cover more expensive medical procedures down the road.That’s my thinking for now anyway.
So, all in all, not so bad of a financial hit. I should be able to pay for these medical expenses by the end of June and then get back on track to build up savings and attack my student loan debt. It’s a delay, but a necessary one.
Should I have known that it was too good to be true? I was gloriously out of credit card debt for two weeks. Then it happened. The health problem that I’ve been telling you about decided that it didn’t want to wait for me to save up an emergency fund. It sent me to the Emergency Room instead.
It was a 7-hour all-night ordeal of which I will spare you the gory details. The first three hours I spent in the waiting area at the point of tears and in utter pain. I’d never been to an Emergency Room before and let me tell you, that the stereotype of the crowded, underfunded, understaffed ER department was true in my case.
Finally, I was taken into a room where a procedure was performed to relieve the immediate pain. I had some bloodwork done and was given a CT scan. The underlying health problem was confirmed by the scan. Surgery will be required in the near future along with visits to specialists.
After some deliberation about whether I would be kept in the hospital overnight, I was finally allowed to leave around 4:30am.
Thankfully, I have insurance, but it is a high-deductible plan. I don’t yet know what the bill will be for my emergency room visit, but needless to say, it will be much more than the $2k that I have managed to save so far. When the bill comes in, I will be updating my numbers. Hopefully, I will be permitted to pay the bill on an installment plan. If not, it will have to go on the credit card. Sigh.
At least by the time I have the surgery, I will have met my annual out-of-pocket limit. Hopefully, my insurance will pick up the tab from that point forward.
Well, I knew that this would have to be dealt with sooner or later. I suppose fate has brought it forward.