I have a confession to make

I am a control freak. I have to have control over certain aspects of my life and take care of my family in a certain manner or I become very frustrated and addle pated.
As you already know we have had a lot going on since late November, with the work place incident up until now with dh’s health. Most things I can take in stride and deal with one thing at a time. However, when I found I could not correctly put a simple breakfast together for dinner Sunday night I realized I had let things get the better of me.
I was distracted, frustrated, ready to cry at the drop of a hat and just all around unpleasant to be around. That is not me, generally, I am Pollyanna.

The meal situation combined with our internet going down and several other things over the weekend were the final straws. I got up yesterday determined to take my life back. And I did it, to some point.
First I called our dsl provider and started working on getting the dsl going.
Then I got pretty firm with dh, who had insisted upon taking himself to the urologist rather than me drive him, then didn’t ask some very important questions I had some major concerns about. After I chastised dh, who is normally a very independent man for not taking responsibility for his own health questions I decided I would get the answers myself.
I did. The answers were simple and took no time at all, some were not what I wanted to hear, but hey, at least I FINALLY got answers after over 2 weeks of not knowing.

Next I went to the dsl office with my two modems, the old and the new. I was told that it was a simple switching problem on the old one and I didn’t need the new one and it was all fixed. Drove back home. They were wrong, it still didn’t work. So back to the dsl office, still pleasant, but firm. I needed control in my life and this was something I KNEW I could get fixed.
While waiting for them to check out the old, and configure the new one I called our local county commissioner. We have lived here going on 18 years and only ONCE in that 18 years have they graded our last 1/8 mile of the section line that leads to our property.

Because only us, our guests and the mail carrier drive that section of road it stays in relatively good shape. But over the last year we have had two large potholes form in it to the point that it is drive down through them and back out of them. If we should get a heavy rain we could have a serious issue getting out and they were already bad enough that we have trouble getting the fifth wheel down that section of road.

They had graded 1/8 mile down our road last week, but not the final section again. My mood with all that has been going on was not improved as I bottomed out going out to the dsl place. So I called them.
I was pleasant, because I know for a fact that snarling at people in the beginning is NOT the way to get what you want. The man on the other end, however, was NOT pleasant. In fact he was down right rude. Informed me they had NEVER graded that section of road, never would etc. That he ran the grader and he knew what he was talking about. Basically he called me a silly woman…Did I just see every female on this list hackles go up? Well mine did.

I remained polite, but firm. Quoted the laws here in Oklahoma about who was to maintain a section road and that my road was in fact a section road. He argued with me, but said he would check on it with DOT. I told him to fill free too, because I knew the law (that’s how I got it repaired the last time).
My phone rang at 8 am this morning. A very different sounding man was on the other end. He apologized seven days to Sunday, it seems I was right, that they were suppose to grade all the way to my mailbox, maintain the bushes and trees along the side and do the county mowing on the easement etc (we have cedar trees that are basically blocking over one half the road right now, the fifth wheel scrapes on them bad going out.

He went on to say I was now on the schedule to get my pot holes fixed. He said he had actually drove down our section of road and bottomed out his truck, so he could understand why I felt it was time. Of course since they just graded last week and they have a set schedule it will be a few days before they grade our section, but he has it high on the priority list

I will give them some leeway, because I do know (because my grandfather ran that department in another county years ago) that they do have budget limitations, and therefore must follow set routes for grading to avoid fuel and time waste. But if it isn’t done soon I will call and squeak my wheels again.
Last night I also pointed out that the living area downstairs was becoming a bit of a mess, and that I was not the only person living here that knew how to put their own stuff up. You would be surprised how much clutter disappeared from the living room so quickly. Maybe I was firmer than I thought I was being. But my wheels were running full force now.
I voiced my frustration of not being creative on fb, and today I am ready to create again. Watch out.
Dinner for tonight was set to thaw last night and I am up an at ‘em early today.
Today’s agenda includes checking on insurance payments on the medical bills, paying what I can and creating beautiful items.

While I don’t have any direct advice

I wanted to add that I too, like Shay, have never received a late fee or other penalty on a medical bill.
However, depending on your state and the policy of the office one can legally be assessed.
You should find the hospital/doctor policy on such fees either somewhere within the bill, or by calling the office. Get it in writing if you’re calling the office. Perhaps by explaining to them the situation if they DO have a late fee policy they can make an exception for you (and of course get that in writing too). Afterall, they have already been paid a lot of money by BCBS, and their lack of applying for payment from Medicare isn’t your responsibility…
Best of luck!

So I have spent the last few hours reading on the medicare website

looking over our billing we have so far from the various doctors and now I have a ton of questions. These questions are for folks who have Medicare part A only with a employer Blue Cross or similar insurance coverage in addition.
As I mentioned before the hospital did not file Medicare before they filed the Blue Cross, which of course has everything all topsy turvy on dh’s insurance pay outs.
Blue Cross has already charged us a high deductible and paid out to all on the first visit to the hospital. They paid a huge amount. However, it is my understanding they are suppose to be the secondary insurance, therefore, they shouldn’t have paid near as much and this may complicate manners tremendously. Something I will let the hospital and doctors who have already been paid work out. I just want to come out of this owing as little as possible.
So I went to dh’s medicare page and saw where they had already approved the entire amount of the hospital bill for payment, less a deductible of $1,214 (apparently that is the amount for 2014), but have paid zero to the doctors that attended him while in the hospital, because it does not look any of the doctors have applied for that reimbursement.
According to the medicare.gov website, all labs, surgeries and doctor visits while dh was an inpatient are covered 100% after the deductible.
So to me this means all those different doctors need to submit a claim to medicare right?
The next item up is that $1214 deductible, since the medicare payments should in theory cover our Blue Cross deductible, shouldn’t Blue Cross then do their adjustments on those services and then pay the remaining balance at the 80%-100% of the covered procedures and doctors? Ie: the $1214 or a percentage of it.
I am just trying to figure out who I owe what because a couple of the bills are coming up on the 30 day mark and I certainly don’t want to pay late fees for bills that are covered by medicare and insurance. Nor do I want to over pay anyone and then have to fight to get the money back. Has anyone had any experience with this?

Staying accountable to my goals:

Tax info has been sent to my accountant who is making sense of it all and getting me top dollar… Just waiting to e-sign and then should get a direct deposit return within two weeks. So about two weeks or so and I’ll be completely paying off Target and closing that credit card account.

Your head isn’t the only one spinning

The statements on my chart are very confusing because if you look at them individually they come to around $50,000, but then they say we owe $1,916. Only none of the various statements add up to that. It is very confusing indeed.
I am with you the one that is important. The first hospital bill for nearly $28,000 shows paid in full. THAT I can understand. Now for the other $22,000 to disappear would be wonderful and BCBS has paid a large chunk of that, only I can’t figure out for certain how much they have actually paid. Very bewildering and I am a math nerd through and through.

I heard back from our My Chart people and they said, what everyone thought

Call the individual doctors that are billing us separate from the St. Francis Health Care system and tell them to file the Medicare, because it should all be covered. So I did just that and only the Emergency Room Physicians said they couldn’t/wouldn’t do that because their services were rendered prior to him being admitted to the hospital. Okay, that makes sense and BC has already paid most of their bill, so I wrote out the check for $59 and will mail it tomorrow to pay them off for the first visit. It should be a similar amount for the second visit.

I checked the Medicare website and it showed that the payment had been approved but not paid for the hospital on the first visit, but not the amount they were going to pay. Remember this. And of course none of the doctor claims or the second visit are even listed there yet.

Then I decided to make a spread sheet of the various bills, who paid what and who I talked to when. Just in case someone else has to handle it in the future. After all I am having a heck of a time sorting it all out, and I am a math nerd. My guys would be totally lost.

That is when I noticed that the first hospital stay was now showing at a ZERO balance! Medicare paid it apparently yesterday. They paid everything BCBS had not covered (ie: deductible, and co-pay). YES! That is over $2,000 we don’t have to shell out!

Based on that the $12,000+ that BCBS didn’t pay on the second visit (due to deductible for 2015 needing paid) should be covered too right? Because they are paying enough to cover the Medicare deductible. PLEASE!

What it looks like to us, from reading the websites and how the bills that are being paid by Medicare the part BCBS pays goes toward our annual deductible with Medicare, who is paying as the secondary insurance and as long as the treatment was for inpatient that means the bills MAY be covered 100%.

However, Medicare will not pay on the follow up treatment and the outpatient procedures dh still has ahead of him. But since we will have met all our deductibles per BCBS those should be covered at 80%-100%, after co-pay depending on the procedure. Now, that is just a supposition, so stay tuned, it is all moving at the speed of molasses in the ne USA right now.

Chiming in here

I agree with the posts already up. Unless your local grocery store has a scale, and a way to give change HONESTLY precious metals are worthless in a disaster. Financial collapse of a nation they are also basically worthless because the last time it happened the government made it illegal to own gold.

You would be far better off getting totally debt free, investing in some training for a skill you could barter for, like sewing, weaving, animal husbandry, something tangible like that. Not to mention having at least a small stock pile of foods, medications, clean drinking water etc for teotwawki.

Use the fireproof safe to store things like proof you have paid off your debt, some cash to have on hand, and important paperwork.

I know some on this list have precious metals and feel differently than I do. But again, what are you going to do with those metals if the shtf. It’s heavy to carry and you can’t eat it.

Putting the “left” into a Roth IRA

will not save you anything in taxes in the here and now. Roth IRA’s have you deposit after tax dollars now for tax free growth- you don’t pay taxes on the compound interest. That is wonderful in the long run, but won’t help with your tax problems today.

If I were you, I would put that 5k in the money market. The Baby Steps are in the order they are for a reason. Building a strong BS3 is a shelter from the storms. As Dave has said, it is insurance, not an investment. And that is something important regardless of the circumstances, but even more so here- you know the storm is coming… You may not know the timing, but it is coming. And that makes the thought of keeping it liquid and local and part of that strong base even more important. Yes, I know it would earn more interest in the Roth, but what if Murphy shows up in March? Assuming that it is 6k that you are left with, keeping it in the MMA is equivalent to having 4 extra months of savings in the bank.

My mother’s IRA distribution came yesterday in the mail

so I went to the bank today and opened up a formal Money Market checking account for my BS1 (vs keeping it in the cabinet) and I guess technically the BS3. It’s ironic that in order to keep the MMA fee-free, I have to keep $1k in the account.

About $3k of it is going to go for taxes which annoys me way more than I thought it would, so I’m trying to live in gratitude and focus on the remaining balance. After repairs to the house, I am hoping to have about $5-6k left. Good topic “comparison of traditional and payday loans” from DetroitHarmonie service of payday loans for bad credit online. It’s that “left” that I am struggling with. We’re going to be (original) debt free in Jule, so I’m not worried about the difference between paying off the CC debt on Jule 2 with the IRA money vs. Jule 9th with our paycheck(s).

I’m “pretty sure” I’m going to put the “left” into a Roth IRA for this year, mostly so I can get the tax break–we need it. That and the fact that it just kills me to look at a 1% annual return in a money market account vs 12-20% in mutual fund annual returns that I’ve been researching.

Basically, I am talking out loud with you all. On the other hand, starting in Sept, we should be able to start putting about $1500 a month in savings. I’m thinking if i wipe out the MMA by funding the Roth for the tax break this year, then I really need to heavily fund the MMA for the rest of the year with savings to shore up a hefty BS3, because we know the storm is going to hit this year….hopefully not until October 2015. But it is a certainty that it will happen.

As a failsafe for disaster?

When the SHTF, who’s going to want metal bars? That won’t buy you water, gas, or food. The only metal that I could see actually helping in that situation is lead – as in ammunition… But hey – I’m so ill-equipped to deal with living off the land without infrastructure I’ll probably be dead after the first week of the apocalypse…

Let me share about disasters like hurricanes..

it could be hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, etc. Anything that severely throws off the economic system. When Hurricane Katrina hit, no one was going around trying to trade gold or any other precious metal for food, water, housing, transportation, etc. In a disaster gold and other precious metals do absolutely no good. Everyone wanted necessities for sustaing LIFE. We have put a small portion into metals but only through our mutual funds, not actual bars. Put your money in to mutual funds like DR suggests, but only after you have built your FFEF.

I was given a free fire-proof safe box recently

and I have always wanted to invest in some metal bars/boullion as a failsafe for disaster.
Gold is just above my threshold and I don’t see the intrinsic value. Copper and silver seem useful beyond just their monetary value.
Just know that a lot of us on here seem to lend toward the prepper mentality and wanted some thoughts! I know you can invest in these metals electronically or in the markets, but I am talking physical coins/bars/boullion.

Though not a prepper

I did live somewhere that got wiped out by floods some years ago. Water was what everyone wanted (well, drinkable water. The other kind was everywhere).
And I remember Katrina. People were shooting each other for water. If water could be stored like gold bars, I’d invest in water every time.

Metal would be worth something if you had a smith and a smithy, though. Mending pots and pans, forging swords, knives, and other blades … the skills would be valued.

I’m not battling that particular health issue with my own folks

but let’s just say I’ve gone a few rounds with them in the last few years when they ceased being the strong, intelligent, independent and highly capable people I’d grown up admiring, and turned into absolute adolescents again thanks to the ravages of time and various health issues. Having done that, I can say that I had to put on something of a suit of emotional armor when dealing with some of my own family’s dirty laundry. I’ve been called things by my own mother, which if I had dared utter 40 years ago would have earned me a mouthful of soap. I usually don’t use sports metaphors. But one of the football analogies I’ve latched onto when dealing with family politics and finances, is to think of myself as watching and coaching the game from the stands, instead of being down on the field being knocked around with the rest of the players. Up in the stands, I have a better view and I can see things which the players on the field can’t see. And I’m not as likely to get clobbered from some unseen linebacker.

What you’re doing right now is brutal work, make no mistake. Most folks I’ve known who were put into such roles had absolutely zero prior knowledge of, or preparation for, becoming a parent for their parents, and/or playing referee or police officer for their siblings. So hang in there as best you can, as you do what you know must be done. Give yourself time and permission to go do things for yourself that restore your energy and enthusiasm as much as possible, and know that you’re in a LOT of good company. Your every move may not be quite what you would have liked. This stuff gets messy fast. But I’m absolutely positive your assistance and guidance will help your family reach and maintain a better overall situation than if you hadn’t been involved. That’s the best we can do.

I am so glad I’m an only child!

Lee, you poor thing. How awful! I think you think of it as business travel. You get reimbursed for your car, gas or mileage, food, misc expenses. Not sure about your time, but whatever a care giver might make per hour? $15-20?

I hope you get through this ok. My mom has alzheimers and I’m going to my parents house once a month to help my dad out. He’s in the 90 day period before the long term care insurance kicks in. I can understand your situation although not the brother issues.

Hope you get some compensation.

Sorry i have been sort of MIA for a bit..

lots of busyness happening… The biggest we are dealing with now is the fact that my mother has developed dementia that has progressed rapidly from April until before Christmas when they diagnoised her with breast cancer. she had a double mastectomy ( age 76) but since I live in NC, my brothers live in KY and a different of Ohio then my mother they allowed her to do reconstruction . I went up for the surgery and while I knew she was getting worse, had no idea how bad it was. If she received an envelope from any one with a dollar amount ( charities ) she felt obligated to pay in one month she had sent money to every charity known to mankind… there were bills not paid… AND one of my brothers , helped my mom spend 150,000 in 10 years not counting her 2700 a month retirement money… she paid all his back child support she said to keep him from jail, co signed a truck that he didn’t make a payment on ( she still owes 5000 on that), He also stole her ss## and opened a credit card allowing himself as a card holder… ran up a 10,000 credit limit and she didn’t find out until she had a court summons to pay… this is also the guy who took his family on a cruise and opted for a family suite instead of 2 state rooms and they are building a beach house at Myrtle Beach… he said all the money was a ” gift”…. My other brother owes her 50,000 from a bad business adventure that my dad on his death bed said he would wave if Eric took care of mom when she couldn’t care for herself…. at the sibling meeting in Dec he said he has a family and a job, he will do what he can… but since I don’t work ( I guess our family business does not count) its all on me… So, I owe my mom nothing… the most I ever got was 1000 which was paid back on Christmas and birthdays when she sent a card with 50.00 deducted and the balance.
so, she can’t care for herself, she needs assisted living ( which we found a wonderful place for 2201 a month) but refuses to go just yet… her finances are a wreck, she has tons of doc appts, we are having some one come in 4 days a week and I am spending 5 days a month in ohio to help care for her, get hte house ready to sell and get her placed where she has chosen… even though she won’t go yet..AND I found out I am the POA for medical and financial, she does NOT have funeral monies set aside… the POA states I can take a reasonable amount of money each week for taking care of finances, travel, hiring, interviewing, monitoring doc appts, and making sure she has rides and follow ups with phone calls ( I am also the medical)… she flat told me ” You were my least favorite but I know you are the most trustworthy)… right now that and 2.00 will buy me a cup of coffee. My 50,000 brother said take what I need ( relieves his guilt I assume)… the 150,000 brother is really mad he is not POA and says if I touch a penny of hers it needs to be for a good cause or he will take me to court…..
I said all that to ask… what is ” reasonable compensation) I have to rent a car to travel up there because my mom refuses to give up her newer car ( even though she doesn’t have the keys) and both our vehicles have over 220000 on them.