In July, Mrs. Micah issued a personal finance challenge to her readers; to find one step you can take to make your financial system better or more organized. Well, in answer to that challenge, I promised myself I would get my medical bills 100% paid off, and I just finally wrote the last check out for $208.96 for the removal of my stitches. Sure, something else may pop up this year (like my wife needing new glasses), but I have finally paid off all the expenses tied to both my misdiagnoses of leukemia and my real diagnosis of a melanoma skin cancer. Needless to say, I don’t ever want another year like this one until I am about 85 years old.
Let’s take a look at some figures from this year now that I have assembled all of our medical costs for the year. Please note that only about $150 of this total is expenses for my wife – a teeth cleaning and a physical. Amazing.
$4,397 – health insurance premiums
$9,787 – copays, tests not covered, CT Scan, etc.
$112 – RX
Total: $14,296 I paid out $14,296 of our money for healthcare needs this year. I cannot begin to imagine how hard this would be on families that do not make the kind of money we do. Do I feel relieved that I wrote out that last check for $208.96? Yep. Do I feel healthy? Yep. But I also know how lucky I am that I could pay off these bills with cash and not have to go into credit card debt or file for bankruptcy all in the name of my health. When people don’t have health insurance they can afford, they go to the emergency room for treatment of colds and minor issues or they wait until they are even sicker to seek help. This ends up costing us all more money in the long run. The system, no matter what you think will fix it or how we can do it, is truly broken and needs an overhaul.
I feel good, and thank you to everyone who sent their kind emails and left nice comments. Supposedly I am 100% cancer-free and should live a perfectly fine and normal life as long as I get checked every 6 months. I feel great that I no longer have those bills coming in every few weeks. As soon as I thought I was done, something else would show up. But I am done now and we can go back to saving more for a house and working towards our long-term goals. It feels really nice to be out of debt again!