A month ago I had to work a very early shift at work, starting at 6:30 in the morning and we were not able to get lunch until 12:30. Now, to some that may not be a big deal but I eat every three to four hours so by six hours I was not feeling well. I went down to eat and yet I did not start feeling any better. I went back to work and then just started shaking and was afraid I would fall.
Now you may be wondering, what does this have to do with personal finance? Well, my boss told me to go to the emergency room but I told I could not afford it (my copay is $200) and she told me worker's comp would take care of it. After resting for a bit, I still felt bad but I did not think I needed to go but she insisted and I did not feel up to arguing. That was a mistake. My employer did not cover it because it was not an injury even though the doctor believes I started feeling sick based on not eating.
Now comes the kicker, because I did not tell my insurance (again, because I thought work would pay the bill) they would not cover it. The bill came to me and it was $275. I had always heard that hospital bills are negotiable but because I had amazing insurance I had no experience with it. I called the billing department and left a message and within a few days got a call lowering my bill $100 and allowing me to pay $10/month. Now I only owe $175 and because I will not be charged interest I have decided to take the entire 18 months to pay the bill off. I had some money put aside for health costs but had two other health bills so that fund is low. By calling and asking I will not have to dip into my EF or derail some of my other goals.