Realization of Medical Bills and Where You Stand

 

Medical bills are typically unexpected unknowns, but with chronic illness it becomes a necessary need to survive or to figure out how to find solutions to your health issues. It is an expense that piles up quickly, yet we are not prepared for it. It can leave us in great debt and often feeling overwhelmed. When something occurs in our body, money isn’t an object. Our health takes precedence to figure out what is happening and fix it as soon as possible. We want to get back to our normal lives and focus on what needs to get done in order to understand what is happening for us to feel this way. Our health is a survival requirement, but it carries expenses that we didn’t expect. When having a chronic illness, cost tends to be a long term, very expensive unwanted addition to your personal expenses that affect the rest of your life. So not only is chronic illness affecting your body, but also your lifestyle based on medical bills alone. This article is about figuring out where you stand exactly with medical bills from different organizations, so then you can focus on your health and have a grasp of what you owe. It is about not getting overwhelmed by medical expenses, rather creating the best aspects of your time and money that you can.

 

 

Understanding Where You Stand

 

Ask directly and track everything.

Appointments can come quickly and pile up before you know it. Understanding exactly what you owe from past visits can help you track future visits more easily. Contact every organization that you think you may owe something to and ask for a print out of every visit you owe from. Have them include the dates, what the visits are for, the cost of each visit, and what you owe. Also ask them if they have any payment plan options available if you feel that you can’t pay off the total within the time frame they give you, along with what the standards are for each payment plan. Once you have an understanding fully of what you owe, start to track every single visit that you have. To help with this check out the new “What Is Owed Packet” on the Nuanced Living Shop! (Come in large font as well!) This way you can see really how much you are spending each month on medical expenses. This will help lay the groundwork for what you need to pay off.

 

 

Making sure all the numbers add up!

A few ways to make sure your office visits, versus what your insurance says you owe, versus what you’ve already paid can tend to lead to a few discrepancies. Making sure you don’t overpay consider;

– If numbers don’t add up to you or you believe you should have a credit, make sure to clarify with the organization.

– Sometimes the organization will send you an “estimate” payment bill. This means they don’t know exactly how much insurance will cover, so they estimate the cost of the visit and also at the same time want you to pay that estimated cost. The insurance may cover more than the organization “estimated.” Once the claim has gone threw make sure to see if they charged more or less. This way you will know if you have a credit or not. Also if they are an organization that sends out “estimate” payment bills, always ask for a copy of everything to track what you actually owe once the claim goes through.

– There is a potential for test/procedures/surgeries to need a preauthorization. If you do need this, make sure it happens before you actually have the test/procedures/surgeries. This will make sure you don’t get charged the full amount of a visit. If an organization doesn’t contact you to tell you if it’s been authorized you can always call your insurance.

– If a claim gets denied, make sure to contact the health care providers office immediately. If they stated your insurance would cover them and your insurance isn’t it typically means the health care provider processed the claim and they need to fix it.

– Always keep receipts. You can also write off copays (Check out “Understanding Medical Expenses”)!

 

 

Know the benefits and requirements of your insurance!

Insurance is a key to helping get the most out of your health care, but there are rules and regulations for each insurance provider, making each insurance provider and plan very different. Insurances have limits on which health care providers you can see, along with treatments that they will cover. When setting up an appointment with any organization make sure to ask if the health care provider you are seeing and the treatment that you may be having is covered under your specific insurance plan. They can provide an answer before you even set up an appointment. Along with knowing who and what is covered, it is important to know exactly what your deductible limit is and what your out of pocket limit is. These are important figures to know, because unlike knowing what and who, typically health care provider offices don’t know when you’ve reach your deductible or out of pocket. Your deductible and out of pocket is a total for all organizations you see, therefore one office won’t know what your other charges are from other organizations to know if you have hit your limit until after they have billed your insurance, which typically means you were given an estimated charge or charged a copay that was potentially unnecessary. Knowing your personal and family deductible, along with out of pocket will help to not get overcharged. So the health care providers may help with figuring out who you can see, but know that it is still your responsibility to your debt to understand what your basic numbers are, along with understanding what health care providers and treatments you are willing to spend more on if they are not covered by your insurance plan.

 

To help make tracking a lot easier what is owed, check out the “What Is Owed Packet” on the Nuanced Living Shop! (Also in Large Font.)

 

 

Getting the most for your money.

Time with a health care provider can be short and a lot of money, below are a few ways to ensure that each minute with the provider is not wasted. It is so important to make sure you utilize the time you have with a health care provider to the fullest.

– Make sure to go in with the right questions and a list of what you want to talk about. Check out “The Right Questions to Ask Your Doctor” for ways to ensure you are getting the most out of each visit

– Choose the right providers. There is a range of health care providers that provide similar services, but make sure that you find a health care provider that fits your needs and expectations to be a great teammate in this process. With chronic illness you will see your health care provider several times, so make sure to pick the right person for you.

– If a health care provider lays out steps, try to complete those steps to the best of your ability. This will help to fully see if what they offered to see if it worked or didn’t. If you feel uncomfortable with what they are offering, tell them before you leave the visit.

– Utilize the ability to contact them. Often organizations have a way to contact your health care provider. Contact them between visits if something they offered doesn’t work, or you feel that you can’t continue their plan for whatever reasons you feel uncomfortable with. If you contact them they may suggest another plan or method to try before your next visit. This saves a lot of time and money.

– If you have to travel a distance to get to your appointments, try to make all your appointments in one day, this will save on transportation and other expenses, along with time.

 

The bills will add up and continue to add up.

With chronic illness the potential for seeing multiple health care providers, doing multiple tests, and experimenting with lots of treatments is more than likely. The process may last more than expected, then adding a multiple year process to figuring out your best formula and even within that it still may require a rhythm of having multiple appointments each year. With budgeting, even if you have had an extremely strict budget and only go base off your out of pocket (which is often unrealistic), know that this may continue each year and the years can add up to one another very quickly. Even just by adding extra medical expenses (i.e. prescriptions, equipment, etc.) can add up quickly. To help with this check out the new “What Is Owed Packet” on the Nuanced Living Shop! (Come in large font as well!) Within this process know that your health is not a credit card where you find yourself overspending and you back off and pay it off, then indulge again. It is a health issue, a lifetime investment within yourself, but more importantly an issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You should do only what you feel comfortable with and extend yourself in the process only to the amount you want, but this is a process and setting a limit on how much you spend can potentially hinder your health. This means that your bills will keep adding up, but continue to learn how to manage knowing where you stand to continue seeking your best formula.

 

Make sure to check out the Nuanced Living Shop and all the packets that can help your health journey a lot easier!

 

Question:

How do you not get overwhelmed with the idea of debt, to make sure you keep seeking your right formula?

 

T r u l y , L i n d y

Before and Coming

 

Hello Hello!

 

I am so glad you are here! For those who have been here before I thank you with so much love! For those who are new, I am so excited to meet you and that you are here! The past couple weeks I haven’t been posting on Nuanced Living. A small break was needed, so to start the next phase with you I wanted to recap and share again all the post that have gone live so far! I hope you enjoy!

 

Post that have gone live so far!

(organized by most recent)

Fixing the Uncertainty of Timelines

FREE 2018 Calendar!

Redefining Limitations with Chronic Illness

The Right Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Understanding Chronic Illness Through Interpretation

Creating a Life You Love Despite Chronic Illness

Easy Tools to Gather Medical Records

5 Ways to Make the Expectations of Self Easier

How to Be the Best Caregiver For Your Life and the Patient

Understanding Medical Expenses

How to Deal with Our Every-changing Body within Chronic Illness

How to Find the Best Caregiver

What Does the Journey with Chronic Illness Actually Look Like

What is chronic illness?

 

Have you seen the shop yet?


 

Don’t forget to print off the free 2018 calendar for you and to share with friends!

 

 

 

What is to come within the next few couple months?

In the next few months Nuanced Living will be opening up about a lot of different topics regarding life with chronic illness, expanding, along with introducing several new products (including free ones!)! So excited for you to come back and see what we can learn together!

T r u l y ,   L i n d y

Fixing the Uncertainty of Timelines

 

Our bodies have shifted, making our lives come to a stand still and the things that used to be reachable are out of sight entirely. We see the world around us and the cultural norms of what an idealistic life should be in every aspect pass us as if it has forgotten us. We may or may not have chosen certain routes, but yet it still seems upsetting to feel that we don’t have the option of even saying yes or no. The option of having a say in our timeline, seems laughable in away. Chronic illness can seem to take control of a lot of our situations, including our overall timeline and how our life plays out. Below are ways to shift our timelines to be what we desire within our new world.

 

As individuals in this life, we look to those that are similar age or with similar ambitions to figure out where we should be at, what our goals for the next few years should be, if we have the best of what could be. As an individual with chronic illness, we often feel mentally that we want to be a part of those goals and that life, but realistically our bodies hold a different more pressing perspective of life. No matter what your chronic illness is, you find yourself standing still even if for a moment as people seem to gather their lives “seamlessly.” No matter the stage in your life or what it looks like, whether you have the perfect job or aren’t working, if you are married or not, if you are in your twenties or in your sixties, it can be jolting to your reality, but it doesn’t have to affect every aspect of the realities of your timeline.

 

We go through different stages of figuring out what is happening to us, the realities of what is about to happen, and what our life looks like. As time goes on the impression of these things seem to get greater and greater. We see the details of the differences between us and the world and what our world should have looked like. This is where we have the power to take control, to grab our timeline and make it something unique. It may not look like the worlds, but we have the ability to figure out how to stand up for it in such a strong way to make our new reality beautiful and our time lines our own that we are proud of.

 

How to create our best timeline?

Patience:

We have different stages of grieving within our body so make sure to set the limits of what you can’t do based on your personal understanding of self. At the end of the day you are the only one to truly know what your limitations are. Having patience for the journey and with yourself is key. Understanding that our timelines will shift and change, and like all others we truly have no clue what the world will hold. There will be several stages and processes within this life, along with the face that you yourself will change, so making sure you are patient and setting realistic timelines that are flexible will help.

 

Standing in Confidence:

There is a difference between standing within life and being grounded in life. We all have a perception of ourselves and where we should be, but what is it that we are really chasing? Figuring out what you stand for, who you are, what your life actually looks like, and what you feel you have power over to create your timeline. Having goals that we set for our lives and not discrediting anything that we desire creates timelines. Write down the things that you want and yes they may not come in the way or the time you thought, but never believe you are not worth having something. Chronic illness is not a power that we may have asked for and it has its limits, but it grounds us in being stronger in the individuals that we want to be, rather then the ones that are perceived or that we feel we should be.

 

Our Approach:

Social media, realities of life, whatever it may be, warps our view of what life should be. It sets standards upon us that usually aren’t realistic when having chronic illness. When figuring out how to look at these outlets, consider the simple idea of encouraging someone else who is doing something incredible within their life, because their successes in no way take away from you or your successes. Each of our lives is very different from one another and it is important to uplift people and figure out how we can be uplifted at the same time by others to have the best life within our own world.

 

It May Happen:

Don’t ever have an individual tell you that you need to be ok with something you aren’t ok with. Others may have an expectation for you, but don’t let them. Each individual on this earth has gone through very different experiences on so many levels, so create a perspective of your timeline that fit you. Others are going to have perceptions and expectations based on their own personal experiences. Let them know how you feel, and let them know how they can be a part of your timeline without dictating it.

 

Having Faith:

Faith is a very personal experience and there are so many interpretations of what it means. Sometimes having faith within our own strength is what may be needed, while other times it is finding strength in a higher power. A powerful tool many with chronic illness have used is allowing for the idea that we have no control over our timelines and what is happening to us, giving that upset and worry to something else to watch over. This is a decision that is based on your faith and your interpretation of faith. It isn’t always the only solution, but rather a piece to help create the best timeline. Also having faith in yourself is important because you can get through whatever is thrown your way!

 

 

Questions:

What was the biggest shift within your timeline and how did you become ok with it not being on your time lines?

 

T r u l y ,   L i n d y

FREE 2018 Calendar!

 

2018 is almost here and Nuanced Living is so excited to give a FREE calendar download! We still have an exciting bit of 2017 to go through till we start 2018 officially, but it is never too early to prep and get ready for the new year! Nuanced Living is about creating a beautiful life despite chronic illness. This means we get to have the ability to indulge in the most beautiful aspects of this life, even when we are given so many daily hurdles. The 2018 Calendar doesn’t have any words of encouragement or anything about chronic illness, it is simply a way I can personally give you a bouquet of flowers each month to enjoy as you feel your calendar with doctor appointments and days of rest. It is about creating your years’ landscape, with a little bit of pretty along the way.

 

 

The entire calendar includes thirteen pages; a cover page and a page for each month of the year 2018. Each month of the calendar includes the entire month and a floral bouquet drawn by me (Lindy Jacoby). It is completely FREE!!!! To get yours all you have to do is click on the link for the month and print. It is entirely free, easy to accesses, and you can not only just have it for yourself, but share it with all those you love! Share this link with others or print to give as gifts to friends and family!

 

Click and Print!

2017

December 17

2018

Front Page 

January | February | March | April 

May | June | July | August | September

October | November | December

 

 

Enjoy!

 

T r u l y ,   L i n d y

 

 

Image source : @NuancedLiving

Redefining Limitations with Chronic Illness

 

Limitations of life are typically defined by fear or moral base, our physical body doesn’t always come into play until we are hit with something like chronic illness. The presence of if we want to do something or if we should do something, based on illness. It now sets our limits. Our personal definition of limits is very different. We define our personal limits based on how we live life. As chronic illness takes over our physical capabilities, slowly or quickly, we discover limitations of life are now dictated more by our body. Some of us don’t really understand limitations of life until we have chronic illness. As chronic illness shifts within our life, our definition of limitations shifts with it. Some limitations can be constant, but some limitations can be temporary. We learn to redefine it because if we don’t it consumes us with a stress of incapability.

 

 

Our body or cavity becomes more defined. We know what is happening, we still are the same person mentally as we were before, but our awareness of our body becomes more apparent, especially when we try to push our boundary limits. Our personal limits can be going to work, maintaining your job, maintaining friendships, going out in certain types of weather, consuming different foods, going to different places, being able to do the dishes and so many other examples. It can be any gesture of life. When we realize a limitation, not by choice, but by body it can be the worst feeling. We face them head on at the moment, which especially depending on our activity this can be extremely challenging. When we realize our limitations are more recognizable then we desire, that is when we can get a choice to take care of ourselves, even when it is overwhelming and frustrating to figure out a rhythm. When we are able to recognize the challenging moments within our life, we are able to recognize us and figure out a plan to move forward with everything. Below are a few ways to help you face limitations and help redefine them to fit a life you still desire.

 

Personal Experience: One of my hardest limits I found with chronic illness are the ones that affect the day-to-day aspects. I so enjoy cooking and with all my nerve pain throughout my body, it had affected by fatigue in my arms, so my arms started having tremors, which meant I couldn’t hold a cup without two hands or hold a utensil. So I had to give up something that not only I loved, but I had to ask someone to help me with the basics needs of living. It was extremely frustrating and overwhelming, because not only did I know it was happening, it was so visible to everyone around me. It created definite limits to my life and it required me to ask someone for help. It was a stretch of my patients and taught me a lot within the process of how to maintain my emotions and not get frustrated by what is happening with my body. Thankfully this limitation only lasted about a year, I found treatment for the tremor symptom alone. It was one of my successes within this health journey. Although I may have found a treatment to cover up the symptoms, if I don’t do the treatment it comes back right away, along with when I have been in a lot more pain my tremors come back. So it isn’t an everyday symptom, but it still occurs. I am faced with limitations every day from symptoms that have and can’t be treated. Almost every day I am reminded or discover a new limit, but my desire is to live a life I love, despite the limitations.

 

Ways to help redefine the definition of limitations to your personal life:

 

The “can do” and “sometimes can do” list.

This is a concept that has got me through almost all of my limitations. Create a list of things that you love that you know you can for sure do and then instead of creating a list of things you can’t do, create a list of things sometimes you can do. This is a list of everything that isn’t on your “can do” list. Maybe it is simply a mental list that you make to yourself, maybe it is a list you share with others especially the ones you live with or your caregiver. No matter where you have it or how you hold it, it allows for you to not get rid of all the things you feel you can’t do. The “sometimes can do” is a list intending to say I may not be able to do it now, or in certain moments, I may not know when I can do it if ever, or I can’t complete this task during symptom flares. It gives yourself permission to not use the word “can’t,” along with allowing you to give yourself permission to also say that your symptoms are not in a good place to complete a task now, but you could get to it later.

 

Finding a moment of peace within the overwhelming realization.

When finding ourselves in an overwhelming amount of upset and realization about our limitations, maybe even a new limitation, pause within that moment and figure out a way to ground yourself to take a minute to figure out what your limits are extracting the emotion from the situation, as much as possible. Then step forward and try again, if you keep finding yourself in that place, don’t give up hope just know that this moment is not the moment to evaluation your limits. This moment doesn’t define your limits. When you find yourself in this situation make sure to step back and figure out how were your symptoms when you stepped into this situation, try again at a point when your symptoms are better to see if you can do it and then maybe put that task on the “sometimes can do” list.

 

Learning a new language for yourself.

When we readjust our thinking about what limits mean to us, we often discover that our personal boundaries have now shifted. We let the ones that we know we can rely on in, we push the people we can’t deal with their stress away, and we figure out how we can care for others and reshape our relationships. With this we learn to ask for help, we learn to say no in a stronger way (since our health that relies on us to not deal with unnecessary stress), we put ourselves first saying we have to take care of us first, we learn a whole new vocabulary. You will define and redefine this as you learn what your limitations are.

 

Understanding that limits, like our health are constantly changing.

As your health shifts and your chronic illness develops into one thing or the next, we learn to redefine what our limitations are and what it means to have limitations. We will constantly be changing our vocabulary of what our body can and can’t do. Patients can be one of the hardest things to do, but it can also be the most helpful tool, to understanding what is going on within your life.

 

 

You may find yourself in a moment that you’ve done a million times prior, that can’t seem to stick in that moment, let go and allow yourself to find yourself doing one of the above to figuring out if you are redefining your limits again.

 

Questions:

What is your best life tactic that you find helps when discovering a new limit?

 

 

T r u l y ,   L i n d y