There should be a STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS on submitting medical bills

Upon arriving home I checked my mail and noticed a medical bill.  The return address, College Park, Maryland, was unfamiliar.  I opened the envelope $450 due upon receipt.  What!!  For a scan on April 2, 2012.  Well, what took  this medical office so long?

I am not happy.

I pulled out my binder with my medical bills and various Explanation of Benefits from my insurer.  I locate an Explanation of Benefits from my insurer of May 9, 2012 for $450 for services provided on April 2, 2012.  The insurer listed a remark code (sequence of numbers) and then provided the following explanation:

Your claim is currently being reviewed.  To correctly provide benefits under your coverage for these charges, we need all medical records that support the services on the claim along with a copy of this EOB.  Please return this information to us at the address shown on the EOB.

My insurer, as a practice, will send a follow-up EOB or Explanation of Benefits upon approving charges.  I cannot find that paperwork.  So I will call my insurer of Monday to ensure this bill is legit.

And, like I’ve said before, it is a challenge to plan your paycheck, budget your money when a medical bill arrives five months after services provided.  There must be a more efficient way.  This present process is so frustrating.  And, there should be a requirement that medical bills be submitted and then approved or denied quickly.




Follow-up: If you own a condo in a multi-story building, BEWARE

Two days ago I detailed how I found a real property transaction under the title history for my condo.  With the assistance of an employee at the DC Recorder of Deeds, the erroneously entered information under my property was confirmed and removed.  When the Recorder of Deed employee sent me a confirmatory title history to demonstrate the erroneously entered property transaction under my property’s title had been removed, I found another property transaction under my property’s title history (see post from Wednesday, September 26, 2012 for additional details).

DC declined to remove this unrelated transaction from my title history because DC claimed there was an error by the title company.  I was told the company would need to submit a corrected deed.  But when I asked DC for the contact information, stone silence = no reply. So I decided to use Google.  I typed the name of the grantee “Abstract Company Millennium.”  The top Google result was “Millennium Title & Abstract Company.”  I decided to call this company on Thursday morning.

I called the company Thursday morning and explained the situation.  I provided the date of the transaction and the name of the grantor.  Less than five minutes later the title company confirmed it recorded the deed with DC.  Upon reviewing the deed the title company informed me my lot numbers are not listed on the deed, but a different set of lot numbers are [the square number for the condo is the same for all units] .  I asked a couple of questions:  a) does this transaction concern a condo [answer: yes], b) in South West Washington [answer: yes]. Yup, I knew there was a screw-up and that some employee at the Recorder of Deeds was responsible.  In fact the representative from the title company remarked, someone at the Recorder of Deeds must have dyslexia.

I told the representative that I would send her my e-mail exchanges with an employee at the Recorder of Deeds.   Meanwhile, the representative told me someone at the title company would look at this matter further.

Less than an hour later,  a different individual at the title company e-mailed me and the employee at the Recorder of Deeds.  This individual listed the transaction by address, date, and lot numbers.  She stated that the title company had provided a correct legal description with the correct lots to the Recorder of Deeds.

Upon receiving this e-mail I sent the following response to the Recorder of Deeds employee:

In light of the information below, it appears that there was an indexing error, not an error in the legal description.

I request this transaction be removed from my title history.

Please send me a confirmatory printout (another title history) once the . . . transaction of July 30, 2012 has been removed.

Less than 30 minutes later the Recorder of Deeds employee informed me that the “production supervisor will make the correction[.]”

I thanked her and remarked that I hope no other unrelated transactions appear under my property’s title history.

Her reply was interesting stating in part,

“If an unrelated transaction appears on your title history hereafter and it happens through this office [meaning the Recorder of Deeds is at fault], please contact. . . .

Hmmm, that does foster much confidence in the Recorder of Deeds.

After this second successful removal of a transaction from my property’s title history, I informed two owners at my condo about this situation.  I advised them to check at least annually to make sure there are no unrelated transactions under their property’s title history.

Reflecting on this experience, it is a shame that I had to do all the work, jump through all the hopes (especially for the 2nd transaction) when in both instances, employees at the Recorder of Deeds screwed up!!!  I have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off to clear up the matter.

The Money Heifer is displeased with the Office of the Recorder of Deeds.  And, how many other errors unbeknownst have occurred for multi-storied condominiums?  The best course of action is to lodge a complaint.  If I receive any feedback, I will share it.

Meanwhile, I will have to alert other condo owners in my building: check your property’s title history at least once annually.

The Money Heifer

At McDonalds (small premium coffee). This free coffee is available through September 29th. A work colleague told me about the free coffee either on Monday or Tuesday. I forgot to stop by until this morning.

And yes, you don’t have to purchase anything else (I didn’t).

Enjoy the freebie!

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They finally came to their senses

I’m talking about the NFL owners. They finally reached an agreement with the real officials. The owners realized, after the debacle in Seattle, that fans and gamblers (yes, betting is huge) had lost faith in the officiating of games. The real officials start tonight.

Yup, the owners were penny wise and pound foolish. They now hope all fans will quickly forget the 1st three weeks.

Not if you are a fan of the Green Bay Packers! They’ve been screwed.

Go get your free cup of coffee

At McDonalds (small premium coffee). This free coffee is available through September 29th. A work colleague told me about the free coffee either on Monday or Tuesday. I forgot to stop by until this morning.

And yes, you don’t have to purchase anything else (I didn’t).

Enjoy the freebie!

If you own a condo in a multi-story building, BEWARE

I have blogged in the past about my almost two-year effort to have my title updated to reflect that the mortgage has been paid off.  Well, that objective was finally accomplished on August 22 2012.  But then there was another issue.

As I made strides to get the certificate of satisfaction recorded (and the problem was getting the certificate of satisfaction from the credit union because the title company I selected did not record the deed with the District of Columbia’s Recorder of Deed until almost five years after I refinanced the condo), I found another problem:  under my condo’s lot and square is a transaction dated January 18, 2011, an assignment of trust, that did not involve me.  I tried to get this matter addressed while at the Recorder of Deeds on August 22, 2012 but to no avail.

On Monday I called the Recorder of Deeds because I had not received in the mail the Certificate of Satisfaction.  On Tuesday a kind and helpful employee (the first I have ever encountered at the Recorder of Deeds) returned my phone call.  The issue of the Certificate of Satisfaction was quickly resolved.  I then brought to this employee’s attention this unknown transaction of January 18, 2011.  At first the employee didn’t seem to appreciate what I was saying so I e-mailed to her the title search results for my condo as identified by lot and square.

This employee researched the matter and discovered that someone had error when logging this transaction – not only under my lot and square numbers – but also under multiple lot and square numbers unrelated to the transaction.  She remarked the Recorder of Deeds had to delete this entry from multiple titles of ownership.  It’s good to be persistent!!  And, I helped out many of my fellow condo owners by having the erroneous transaction removed from their titles.

Beaming since my mission was accomplished, I asked the employee to e-mail the title history for my lot and square so I would have proof that the unrelated transaction had been removed.  Later that day on Tuesday afternoon, I received the title history.

There was good news and bad news.

First, the good news – the transaction of January 18, 2011 had been removed from my title history.  Hurray!!

Now, the bad news – another unrelated transaction of July 30, 2012 appears under my title history.

I sent a response to the employee, thanking her for sending the confirmation that the January 18, 2011 unrelated transaction had been removed from title history but bringing to her attention the unrelated transaction of July 30, 2012.

Today, I received the following e-mail response from the employee:

“I viewed the document and it has an incorrect legal description which will need to be corrected by the parties to the trust.  This office was able to correct your first situation [due] to an index issue.  However this office cannot correct a document that was presented to us with incorrect information.  The parties to that transaction will need to re-record or do a corrective trust document.”

Upon receiving this response, I asked the employee if she could provide the contact information of the grantor or grantee.  No response.

I then contacted someone at a title insurance company who had previously assisted me.  I asked if she could find the contact information for the grantor or grantee.  She replied as follows:

“Hi.  Sorry but I would have no way of getting their contact information.  It appears that your situation has been corrected and the other loans do not affect you.  At some point they will figure it out and correct it but it does not impact your ownership.”

The Money Heifer is not satisfied.  This matter should be fixed immediately when such an error is discovered.  The Money Heifer had an idea.  Google to the rescue!!

The grantor is an individual and the grantee appears to be a company.  In Google’s search engine I first searched for the individual but no address appeared.  Then I searched for the individual plus the company but no results appeared.  Finally, I searched for the company only – Abstract Company Millennium.  The results listed a title company with a similar sounding name in Bowie, Maryland, a suburb of the District of Columbia.  I will have to wait until tomorrow to speak to someone in the office.

If you own a condo in a multi-story building, it pays to check the title history periodically.  But then again, maybe this is just an issue in the District of Columbia.  As my boss said, I’m glad I don’t own property in the District.

Sometimes it sucks to pay in advance

About a month ago I purchased two tickets for the Washington Nationals’ last game of the season. The tickets totaled $36 or $18 each.

This evening I received an e-mail from the Washington Nationals announcing $4 tickets for the last three games of the season, including the game on October 3rd. Bummer. I overpaid by $28 😦

Another reason to reconsider owning a home

An employee at my job site stopped by today to say goodbye. I learned last week that she has retired (accepted an earlier out) but is taking medical leave for the remainder of the month – on orders from her doctor.

This employee told me today that with her pending retirement, she will take a $30K cut in pay. She needs to find a part time job to make up the difference. She provides financial support to her mother. And this employee has not paid off her mortgage. This employee is in her 50’s.

Funny I spoke with a contract employee at through job site this afternoon. He is retired but is working his present job to supplement his income. He told me he still has a mortgage. This employee is in his 60’s.

As everyone is well aware, the economy has drastically changed. Employers attempt to push out older workers because they costs more with salary and benefits compared to a newly hired employee.

I say all of this to point out an obvious fact: employees can no longer expect to remain in their current position until he/she is retirement eligible. So, if you have a hefty mortgage by age 50, you won’t pay off the balance as quickly as one hopes.

Maybe an alarm bell shall ring to symbolize to people between 45 – 50 that they must pay off their mortgage before age you 50!

Is it worth taking out a mortgage at  age 25, age 35 if the time needed to pay off that mortgage has been reduced?

What Happened to The Money Heifer?

She over extended herself! Besides working full time, she is the editor of a semiannual newsletter and is on the Board of a non profit organization. And these extra activities perculated this month (& there more to do before the month is over).

For your health (which can affect your wealth) & for your sanity, don’t over extend yourself!

Non Profits & Insurance

I am on the Board of a non-profit. We have an event this Saturday, which is part of a much larger event.  The treasurer of the board sent an email to all board members with a quote for an insurance policy. The treasurer remarked he needed a unanimous vote – yeah or nay. Another board member and I voted  yes. The next two board members voted no.

I understand the gut reaction of the other two members. The board doesn’t have a lot of money. But I think they are being penny wise and pound foolish.

After receiving the board members responses, the treasurer followed up by explaining that he checked and confirmed that his renter’s policy would provide liability protection for him individually.

When I read that this morning, I wasn’t happy. I called my insurer this morning & confirmed my homeowner’s policy would cover me in my individual capacity. However if the board is sued as an entity, no coverage.

You may think – what’s the big deal? It’s basically risk management. This board is hosting activities on Saturday. And we are specifically having events for children. If any child (or anyone else) is injured by our area, that individual (or individual’s guardian) may sue the board.

Yes, unfortunately, America is an extremely litigous nation. I rather be safe than sorry. But since other board members prefer to be penny wise and pound foolish (& let me say I spoke with a very experienced attorney this afternoon about this matter), I’ve done the best I can to protect myself and will do my best to ensure our area is as safe as possible.

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