Monday, May 19, 2014

Medical update/Summer plans

Follow up visit with my orthopedist today, mainly to check on the progress of my shoulder repair rehab. Doing well, still some significant stiffness, which is very common with this procedure, especially in light of the amount of trauma I had. I am to continue PT once a week (had dropped down from 2) and return in 3 weeks. While I have officially run out of benefit coverage for PT, I feel strongly that in order to get the best physical outcome, post op, I must continue with this therapy and continue with my rehab exercises, and weight training at home. MD agrees and stressed  that he wants someone to closely monitor my progress. As I told my beloved MD, I will just eat the cost. No question that this is the right decision for me. While I still have some funds in my HSA (although I recently had to contact HR as my checks are screwed up, odd amounts for standard deductions, including my HSA contributions. I received an email that Payroll is looking  into it. I wrote and gave them specifics to address. I have only 3 more checks to come in until the end of June, and need to make certain that the correct amount of money is being credited as well as deposited into my checking account to cover us for the Summer), I am already planning on letting these charges accumulate and once therapy ends, contact the hospital directly and get back on a repayment plan, at no interest. I did that with last Summer's out of pocket charges, and paid that back using my HSA. (I just made the last payment last week). I intend to do something similar.

During my appointment today, I also discussed the additional hand surgery that I need on my right thumb. At some point in the future, my left thumb will also have the same procedure; for now, my silver ring splint is protecting my joints, although there has been an increase in pain, so I know that the OA is increasing on that side as well.  I had planned to have that surgery to fix a complication from a former surgery (had a second surgery, which we knew may/not work-it didn't fix the problem, aka "failed") LAST Summer (2013) but was dealing with my left side shoulder surgery instead. My hand surgery is now back on deck, with the expectation that I'll do that once school gets out. I will be in a cast or some sort of a brace for 6 weeks, totally immobilizing the thumb, before I would begin  4-6 weeks of OT therapy. With a calendar in hand, the date will be selected. Plans will be finalized June 9th. Additionally, a slight complication, which seems to be resolving itself, remains with my shoulder. We discussed getting another MRI. If I require an additional repair, the orthopedist could do it the same day that he does my thumb. A MRI would be covered in full.  As long as the surgery happens before Sept 1, all costs will be covered by insurance. OT will be limited to 4 visits over July/Aug, so if planned correctly, I shouldn't incur much, if any debt. Effective Sept 1, I will have to cover all OT visits, until as a family, we reach our $4000 out of pocket deductible again. Stinks to have such  a high deductible, but it's kind of like a game, gotta know how to work it to one's advantage, should you have high medical bills.

Knowing that effective Sept 1, 2015, my medical out of pocket deductible will escalate to $6000/family, I intend to place an additional $1000 next year, so as to grow a cushion. Unlike a FSA (flexible savings account), any funds not used, are allowed to accrue and can later be used for future medical expenses.

Prospects are looking grim to finding another, "affordable" housing situation in this town. Without going into specifics, remaining here another 2 years until the youngest graduate and turn 18, would be best. That said, I am resigning myself to continuing to stay in this rental, although I do continue to watch for alternatives.

Dinner tonight: 2 fzn pouches of Bumble Bee garlic shrimp over a combination of Basmati and brown rices, using the rest of my white rice. We are now, officially, a brown rice only house. Side was fzn steam bag of broccoli florettes. Both the veg and shrimp were sale plus cpn deals.

1 comment:

HappyGrama said...

A few years ago when we paid for a colonoscopy for a family member who did not have insurance, the bill came to around $3,000. I read online that sometimes a hospital will reduce a bill if you pay cash. I called them, and they took around $1,800.--paid in full!