The Damn Honey Bee’s

Are back.  The are back!

After a very expensive extraction and roof repair this spring, the damn bee’s have returned.  I am so over this shit you guys, I can’t afford it.  Homeowner’s Insurance won’t touch it either.

I was just quoted $725 to re-extract and repair PLUS $2200 to “bee proof” our home.

I can’t breathe with all the stress lately.

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Insurance BS Continued

We’re a few weeks into physical therapy now. It’s frustrating. DS2 is shy and takes a bit to warm up to new people. We’ve seen a different therapist at each visit. By the time he warms up to them, he gets in maybe 15 minutes of actual therapy. I’ve repeatedly asked for a consistent therapist, which his orthotist and orthopedic doctors recommended, and yet each time we show up, it’s someone different.

“There’s only so much we can do with the scheduling.”

Super helpful. I love driving over an hour one way, for an hour long visit, to get 10-15 minutes of therapy. I have not had to pay a co-pay, despite asking at every visit. They just tell me it will be billed and I’ll be contacted. Nearly a month in with no bills, I’m worried.  Mentally preparing myself for the sticker shock when I open the envelope lol.  Haha!  Speak of the devil, a bill arrived today:  $400.82 for evaluation.  No session bills yet!

I bit the bullet and applied for secondary insurance. It was approved for DS2, and we were told this would cover co-pays and whatever percentage our primary healthcare insurance did not cover. I do have a $30/mo premium for this secondary insurance, but I thought this would be a bargain based on the expenses we’ve faced with his needs.

Showed up to PT yesterday and they informed me that the secondary insurance, let’s call it KidsCare, will not cover PT. Apparently KidsCare no longer covers outpatient rehab therapies. This includes speech, physical, and occupational therapy.

So what is the point? I find myself asking this question repeatedly regarding insurance.

Two weeks ago DS2 received his newly fitted orthotic braces. These are $5,200 for the pair – they are plastic and velcro – and fit in the palm of my hand. Here’s an example pic:

smo_product

Just imagine them much smaller. My son’s foot is a tiny and fat, size 1 (up from a 00)! But has to wear a size 4XW to accommodate the braces, which he needs to walk and balance properly.

Anyway, orthotics processed our primary insurance and KidsCare at the appointment, and informed us that KidsCare probably won’t cover anything. Orthotics falls into the “cosmetic” category.  COSMETIC!!??

This morning I received a letter from KidsCare approving the braces!! However, the letter clearly states that they are only approved between 07/20/2017 and 08/20/2017, and that they must be purchased through a specific hospital. What?!  When I applied it stated KidsCare covers anyplace that accepts KidsCare.

Our appointment was the 19th. We’ve been seeing the same specialists since he was an infant. Hell, since prenatal stages! I’ve tried calling the number, but they are always “experiencing high call volume, please try back later”.

If KidsCare does not cover these braces, our portion after primary insurance, will be $2,945.50. For plastic and velcro.  

No wonder medical bankruptcy is rampant in our country. The mark ups are outrageous!

IMG_8881

My son: birth, casting, bracing stages.

Another example, DS2 must wear specialized boots and a connecting bar to bed every night. Through our orthopedic office, these are $2,890.00. Insurance only covers one pair every two years, and even then only 60% coverage after deductible is met. KidsCare does not cover these at all. Apparently insurance expects kids feet to just not grow for two full years. On average we replace boots every nine months. So, $2,980.00 for boots, an additional $350 for the bar. Yet I can go directly to the manufacture and buy the boots AND bar for $300 shipped overnight. Now tell me, what would YOU choose? I understand a mark up, but $300 to over $3,000 is ridiculous.

I guess right now I’ll just wait and see what KidsCare covers to see if the $30 per month is even worth it.  I mean, if they’re not covering a majority of his visits and specialists, I might as well save that $30, right?

Medical and insurance stress are getting the best of me lately!  I appreciate all of the comments on my recent posts.  Thank you so much for your suggestions, advice, and kind thoughts.  Sometimes those make my day after dealing with all this!  🙂

Posted in Family, Medical | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Speech Therapy : $920 Per Week

I had a long, long post regarding medical and insurance drama I’ve been dealing with for the past month and a half, but I just cannot get myself to click ‘publish’.  For now, here’s an example of what we’re dealing with.

DS2 was sent for a speech evaluation.  He’s only 2, but the concern was regression.  At 9 months he was speaking in sentences, at 17 months he completely stopped, and seemed to develop his own language. Now just after 2 he’s starting with words again.

I didn’t care for the therapist, or the way she conducted the evaluation, and found her to be very condescending towards me, especially when she realized my son is very good at ASL, as am I.  She questioned how I could possibly know American Sign Language.  My best friend is deaf.  🙂

Anyway, she insisted he needed therapy, twice a week, for three months.  Told me to schedule it with the front desk as we left.  Here’s where it gets fun!

My co-pay for speech therapy is $90.  That’s expensive enough for us!  The visit fee is $370.  That’s $370+$90=$460*2=$920 PER WEEK – wtf!!!! We don’t even make that much per week! I could feel my heart begin to race, the anger growing, my eyes swelling with tears out of frustration.  What the hell is the point of health insurance?  Please, someone, help me understand!!

The front desk lady certainly didn’t help with the following exchange:

Her:  It’s too bad you have private insurance.
Me:  Why is that?
Her:  Our self-pay fee is only $60.
Me:  Wait, what?  $60 co-pay?  What does a session cost?
Her:  No, just $60, it’s a flat rate per visit.
Me:  Well then I don’t have insurance!
Her: Sorry he’s already in the system since it was a referral, we’re unable to change it to self-pay.

I received a bill in the mail for the speech evaluation. $765. For 30 minutes. I called their office and they stated insurance didn’t cover it. I called insurance, they said it was not covered, because it was not treatment for a diagnosis. I tried to explain that the point of the evaluation was to determine a problem, aka diagnosis, and get help. Nope. No diagnosis, no evaluation, but no diagnosis without an evaluation. Isn’t that interesting.

Makes you feel really good paying hundreds to thousands per month in health insurance premiums, only to get have high deductibles, and low coverage. Meanwhile those without can get a cheap flat rate.

I am battling this same issue over, and over again. Every day I make 3-5 phone calls to specialists, insurance, doctors, etc. It’s a nightmare. I canceled speech. It didn’t feel right to begin with, then the cost just sealed it for me.

Physical Therapy is a must, and unfortunately we’re having the same cost issues. Also insurance limits the number of visits per calendar year to 20. Which is absolutely ridiculous for a child born with a birth defect that affects his feet, legs, and ability to walk.

$920 per week! I mean REALLY!!!!!!!! Are they nuts?!

 

Posted in Expenses, Family, Medical | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Cellphones Cost Too Much

I’m on a roll with selling off items to bring in a little extra income.  However, we don’t just need extra income, we need to slash our expenses as well.  This is proving to be very difficult!!

My first thought was the cellphone bill.  It’s one of the highest at $151 per month (+/-$3 due to taxes and fees vary each month) for 3 lines.  Plus DH’s Iphone6 is no longer working and it’s out of warranty.  We do not have $700 to buy a new Iphone, and AT&T no longer offers the $99 phone if you extend your contract deals.  You have to buy the phones outright, or do a payment plan that adds upwards of $45/mo. to your bill.  No thanks!

Our current plan is 15GB data per month, unlimited text, and calls.  Based on our usage charts, between our 3 lines (mil is one of those, she pays her portion), we rarely hit 6GB of data per month.  The one and only time we went over 6GB was during our road trip earlier this summer.  Plus we have rollover data, so we’re up to 30GB now that we’ll likely never use.

I looked into downgrading our plan to the 10GB plan.  Savings?  $1.00.  ONE DOLLAR!!  Next one down is 6GB, savings of $14 per month.  I’m not too pleased with these “savings”.   Any plans lower than that we risk going over and each additional 1GB is $10/mo.  If we don’t lose our rollover data, we could definitely get away with the 6GB plan, but I bet we’d lose it.

Out of frustration, we decided to check out Verizon, thinking that there would be a new customer deal.  HA HA HA!!!  The guy didn’t even ask us about phones, just pulled out a white board, jotted down some numbers, and said “this is what you’d pay” – $268 PER MONTH!  WHAT?!  That was for 3 lines, unlimited data/texts/minutes, no phones.  Ridiculous!

I’m also familiar with Ting, Republic, and a handful of other discount carriers, but they are either a) not available in our area or b) must use their devices and do not have Iphones.  The issue with the Iphones is related to DH’s job.  They are now a requirement for management thanks to some new apps he is forced to use.  Which go off all day and night with alerts.  Personally I think his work should pay for the phone and services for him, but HA!  That will never happen.

So cutting cellphone expenses seems to be going nowhere.  There’s also…

  • Internet – we have the cheapest option available in our area.  $44.99 – no data cap!
  • Television – we do not have cable/satellite.  Only Netflix & Hulu, $16/mo.  Depending on the season, we tend to put one on hiatus until new shows are out.
  • Insurance – about to shop around!!  Homeowners and auto.
  • Medical…….we’re just screwed.  No cutting expenses in that field.  LOL!  Thanks ACA!
  • Electric/Gas – I’ve kept our A/C at 71 this summer, it seems to have saved a few bucks overall, but not a huge savings.
  • Water – This is always higher in summer due to pool, averaging $50/mo.
  • Food – I’m saving a TON by using Wal-Mart Grocery Pick Up service!!  Averaging $85/wk for a family of 4.

I just feel like I am completely failing at getting a realistic budget going for our family.  Working on a table to show our income vs expenses.  A bit depressing these days!

Posted in Expenses | Tagged | 16 Comments

Lorex Baby Monitor Recall Scam? Theft?

I’m posting all of this, just to be able to tweet, share, and maybe get ahold of someone at Lorex who is capable of dealing with the situation, because I am sick and tired of chasing what is rightfully mine.

Dear Lorex,

Back in April of this year I found out about the Lorex baby monitor recall, after our battery exploded on our Care N’ Share monitor.  I returned the monitor and 2 cameras in the envelope provided through the recall website – with a copy of my original receipt for $127.49.  Not even a box by the way, the recall center provided a cheap, thin envelope.

My items were delivered back to the recall center via UPS on May 1st.  On May 13th they called claiming I only returned one camera.  This is absolutely false!  Why would I do that?  Why would I keep a useless, defective monitor?  Even the shipping weight proves I sent the entire set back. They apologized and put through the claim and said to expect a check in couple of weeks.

Of course, since I have a special needs child, I couldn’t wait weeks for a monitor replacement.  I had to go ahead and purchase another set, by Summer, since Lorex no longer sells baby monitor systems.  I could have really used this refund check to fund the new set.

Here are the images I took prior to packaging up the system, as well as my original purchase email.

I realize my images are blurry, but the model number is WL3520 on the monitor (zoom in), which matches exactly what is posted for the recalled units directly on Lorex’s website.   As you can see, the battery burst inside.  It smoked and smelled bad, and broke the back off.  The recall clearly states this is a burn hazard to consumers.  Oh, and it fries the monitor so it doesn’t work at all.

On June 15th I called to inquire about my refund status, it was well past the 2 weeks I was told to wait.  They said my claim was approved and processing. I was told I should receive it within 2 weeks.  I waited.  And waited.  No refund check arrived.

I attempted to call the recall line on July 3rd, 5th, and 6th and they were closed for the holidays. What a nice long holiday.  I reached out to Lorex directly through the email contact form on their website.  On July 6th (13 days ago) I received a response apologizing for the inconvenience and that they were escalating my issue. They said someone would get back to me within 3-4 business days. Here were are, July 19th, and no one has contacted me.

I called the recall hotline again today, July 19th, and was given a totally different excuse as to why I do not have my refund check yet. Now they claim my items were not the affected model. This is also FALSE. I have pictures of every damn piece of equipment I sent back – 2 cameras and a monitor (posted above). I still have the battery that blew up by the way. Also, I had to enter the model number information on the recall site before I received my return envelopes. Obviously the set qualified.

So now the recall place has my baby monitor and 2 cameras and I have nothing. Keeping my nearly $130 purchase and not returning my useless equipment nor refunding me is theft. The customer service lady “escalated” my claim (I’ve heard that one before) to D***, a supervisor, who said she would also “escalate” it to “the client” for review.  I assume that client is Lorex?!  She said they need to “pull my order” to review it. Do I need to send pictures? How about my original receipt that I still have?  I have offered to do this multiple times and not once have they provided an email to send images.  Hence this post!  This is outrageous. I have already had to spend money to get another system. A monitor is a must! I WOULD APPRECIATE SOMEONE DOING SOMETHING TO GET MY MONEY BACK!!!

You cannot possibly keep an entire system I clearly paid for AND returned, and refuse to either send it back or reimburse me!?!?  It IS the recalled set.  I’ve provided proof numerous times.  I’m tired of getting the run around and would appreciate my refund in a timely manner.  Thanks.

Sincerely,

A VERY FRUSTRATED MOTHER

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Staying Busy

The end of summer is upon us.  School starts next week.  While I’m dreading the 6am mornings, I look forward to getting back into a routine.  Both of the boys birthdays are out of the way.  They went as well as they could, considering many who RSVP’d were no shows.

I’m still battling medical bills, insurance (health and home), and dealing with DS2’s needs.  Physical Therapy starts this week, but they’ve yet to give me my OOP costs.  Speech Therapy, I canceled, after being told it would be about $800 out of pocket every week.  Who has that kind of money?!  Not us.  Plus his speech is blowing up, and I’m confident it would be unnecessary at this time.  PT, however, is a must.

I requested a new adjustor for my homeowner’s insurance.  They agreed to this, and I went to the house to meet them.  They sent the same damn guy.  Ack!!!  I told him forget it, he could leave.  Right now I’m waiting on estimates for repairs, which I need in order to appeal the insurance claim.

Good news is….extra income!  Not a lot, but it’s something.  I started listing items on the Mercari app last week and have already made $40.00.  I also listed the same items on ebay, and have made $38.50.  I list all the same items on each app and delete them from whichever one it didn’t sell on.  It’s working out well.  Nearly $80 (before fees) for stuff just laying around.  I’ve start to fill up a box of items to list.  My goal is to list 10 items per week right now.

This will work until fall weather arrives and we can host a yard sale without melting into a puddle outside.  This weather is too much.  It’s too hot to even swim most days.  I really do hope to move out of the south at some point!  Perhaps…Tennessee….

Posted in Extra Income, Family | Tagged , | 3 Comments

A Leak

A should-have-been prevented leak.

Hmm.  Remember that time our homeowner’s insurance adjuster came out to our home to inspect our storm damaged roof and brought along a shady “inspector”?  They found no signs of damage anywhere.  Closed the claim.  No help.

Three roofers found damage.  One found a water leak.  Adjuster denied all those claims.

GUESS WHAT HAPPENED?!?!

Water.  Pouring through my dining room ceiling.  Exactly where one of the roofers pointed out the damage previously.  Exactly where the adjuster’s shady inspector claimed it was in perfect shape.

THANKS SO MUCH INSURANCE ADJUSTER AND SHADY AF INSPECTOR.

Absolutely sick and tired of shitty people and shitty companies in this world!

Posted in Home | Tagged | 5 Comments