Drip, drip, drip

The influx o medical bills. Received another one this evening. I owe $343.59. This doesn’t include the explanation of benefits statement informing me that I owe $1,145.51, doesn’t include the $767.78 I paid three weeks ago or even the $126.90 I paid a month ago.

I wish there was an efficient way to alert the consumer patient of more incoming bills.

Drip, drip, drip. It is hard to plan, you don’t know when the bills will stop coming.

Although my checkbook is surprised, I won’t be anymore. I think it is smart to expect bills for a six month period after a procedure. Drip, drip, drip.

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Using the old iPhone

I’ve chronicled my switch from the iPhone to a driod (Samsung) in previous posts. One big regret of the switch – the loss of my favorite apps. I didn’t want to pay again for a couch to 5k app or a bridge to 10k app.

Recently I was cleared to resume running. Did The Money Heifer buy an app for the driod? Of course not. Luckily I had not recycled or donated my iPhone. I figured the couch to 5k app should work once I recharge the phone. And thankfully it has.

I won’t have sufficient time to train for the Army 10-miler on 21 October. But a 5k in October or November – yes I can 🙂

All gone

I arrived at the park last Friday to watch the Washington Nationals versus the New York Mets. I selected this game for two reasons: (a) Friday and (b) promotional item.

When I arrived at the center gate and passed through the turnstile, I didn’t see the promotional item, a Retro Cap. I asked an employee, are the caps all gone? She replied yes.

Bummer. No promotional item. 😦

At least the game was exciting. Michael Morse hit a grand slam. The following inning Bryce Harper hit a home run driving in two runs.

I must arrive earlier to the next game to get my promotional item!

This District of Columbia Government: more interested in collecting money than providing quality, customer service

See below.

Does your bank charge this much for a bounced check? Doubt it.

image

Just outrageous!

Is there any difference between this fee and what a lon shark would charge? Not!

The Money Heifer

I had a medical procedure earlier this year. The invoices and explanations of benefits (from the insurer) have arrived in my mailbox at an irregular pace. I assumed I was in the all clear when I paid the balance on one bill totaling $767.78.

But then I arrived home this evening. I saw two envelopes from my insurer. I owe a doctor $29.95 (related to the medical procedure). When I opened the other envelope, I almost had a heart attack. I owe the provider $1,913.29. What!!  That amount would virtually wipe out my mini emergency fund.

I called my mother and whined. During our conversation I noticed the submitted charges total $23,085.00 appeared similar to another explanation of benefits.

I later called my sister and whined. She told me, maybe it is an instance of double billing. When I compared the submitted charges of both explanations of benefits …

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Hard to plan for medical expenses

I had a medical procedure earlier this year. The invoices and explanations of benefits (from the insurer) have arrived in my mailbox at an irregular pace. I assumed I was in the all clear when I paid the balance on one bill totaling $767.78.

But then I arrived home this evening. I saw two envelopes from my insurer. I owe a doctor $29.95 (related to the medical procedure). When I opened the other envelope, I almost had a heart attack. I owe the provider $1,913.29. What!!  That amount would virtually wipe out my mini emergency fund.

I called my mother and whined. During our conversation I noticed the submitted charges total $23,085.00 appeared similar to another explanation of benefits.

I later called my sister and whined. She told me, maybe it is an instance of double billing. When I compared the submitted charges of both explanations of benefits , I confirmed the amounts are identical. What a relief. I thanked my sister.

After getting off the phone, I began comparing the two explanations of benefits. And then I realized something. One itemized bill was not processed by my insurer the first time the provider submitted the bill.  Apparently the provider didn’t submit sufficient information the first time.  When the provider resubmitted the additional information which the insurer found satisfactory, my insurer paid its portion under the plan. There is a balance which I am responsible to pay.

To make a long story short, this is not a case of double billing. This is a situation where the insurer delayed processing the largest itemized bill because the provider failed to submit sufficient information.

So I am happy to say I don’t owe $1,913.29. Instead I am on the hook for $1,145.51. Still a hefty check I must write.  My mini emergency fund will take a hard hit. I will have to find extra money (from where?) to rebuild this fund.

It is so hard to plan for medical expenses. 😦

Forcing ATMs to be more customer friendly

What? Let me explain.

Of course ATMs are convenient. You don’t have to go inside the bank or credit union, fill out a withdrawal slip and then wait for the next available teller. But if you want a denomination other than a $20 bill, especially if you want a $5 bill, going inside the bank or credit union is your best option.

But I’ve employed a strategy that makes ATMs more customer friendly to me. On pay day I withdraw $200 to cover food & gas for the next two weeks. I get tried of the machine spitting out ten $20 bills. I want two $10 bills. My solution: two withdrawals: the first for $150 and the second for $50.

I wish banks and credit unions would give their customers the option of selecting the denominations of the money to be received. Oh well, until that day, I will continue with my strategy.

Why the DC Office of the Recorder of Deeds pisses me off

Because I just wasted 7 quarters feeding a meter so I could get a certificate of satisfaction recorded for a property I paid off on 5 October 2010 (more details about the saga of getting the certificate of satisfaction from my credit union upon getting the certificate of satisfaction recorded).

The recorder of deed is open til 4:15 or 4:30 pm. I arrived in the building at 3:36 pm. I took the elevator to the 5th floor and arrived at the office. I signed in and after a minute or so was asked how I could be helped. I responded, to get a certificate of satisfaction recorded. I was told I needed to arrive before 3:00 pm. In my frustration I asked, so why is this office opened til 4:15 pm? I was told, so the public could access the computer for land records. Hmm, I have never had problems accessing information from home. And I bet very few members of the public actually visit.

Of the course the recorder of deeds is not very public friendly with their hours. And when you see employees standing around chit chatting (being paid with my tax dollars), I am clueless why this agency cannot be more accommodating to the public.

I want six of my quarters back!

The most bang for my buck

I love attending baseball games. It is nice to receive a promotional item when I attend a game (and, no not those t-shirts thrown to the crowd. I would need to spend more on tickets to have the privilege to have a chance to catch a t-shirt.)

I prefer a more certain course: purchase tickets for games with advertised promotional items.

This past Saturday that’s exactly what I did. I purchased tickets for three games with promotional items.

Hey, it is only smart to get the most bang for my bucks.

And for your birthday. . .

I received a letter from my group disability policy company. Because I had reached a certain age, the amount charged for coverage has increased $20 per pay period from $24 per pay period to $44 per pay period.

So you think a $20 increase is small potatoes. But $20 per pay period times 26 pay periods equals $520.

What’s the big deal? In the grand scheme of things, it is not a substantial increase. But it is another financial nick. As a federal government employee my salary has been frozen the last two years. But my health plan has increased the past two years, my dental policy has increased the past two years. So, these are additional nicks to my pay check.

Have you noticed the price of gasoline climbing upwards?  Because of this, I have less disposable income.  And because of the drought particularly in rhetorically Midwest, the price of food has and will increase.

Lots of little financial nicks all over.

To my disability policy company, thanks – not – for making my birthday special.

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