Medical Bills

My 2nd ICER Submission for CGRP Review

May 8, 2018 / 0 Comments

To find out more about ICER (Institute for Clinical & Economic Review) watch this video or check out the Patient Input Guide. This is my submission to ICER about the importance their review of new CGRP inhibitor drugs will have on my life and our entire community. -Katie ICER OPEN COMMENT PERIOD ON CGRP INHIBITORS FOR MIGRAINE I had my first migraine attack with aura at age five. My vision was obstructed by a sparkling crescent moon shape. Within 20 minutes it had disappeared. Next it felt like someone was pounding a nail into my skull, over and over again. My parents held me in their arms for hours as I screamed in pain. I became dehydrated from crying, only making the searing pain in my head worse. The daylight streaming in from the window felt like more daggers. After six hours of torture, I vomited until my stomach was…

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Can We Talk About Health Care For a Minute?

November 10, 2017 / 0 Comments

Can we talk about health care for a minute? I know, there’s been so much political discussion about it that it is so hard to figure out what’s going on. I’m not going to go into any of that because it’s irrelevant. Why? Because while the new Administration and members of Congress have come up with numerous changes to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), but nothing new has been passed into law. Bottom line is that the same rules apply as when it was enacted in 2014. Why Pay Attention? I bring this up because it’s open enrollment time. Through December 15th, if your state participates in the healthcare exchange, you can sign up or change your current plan. Let’s talk basics first. If you have health insurance coverage through your employer, this doesn’t pertain to you (but it could to someone you know, so don’t stop reading!). If…

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Why Being “Disabled” is a Full-Time Job

July 26, 2017 / 3 Comments

*************************SEEKING APPLICANTS************************* Job Title Chief Medical Officer of Personal Health Affairs (AKA Social Security Disability Beneficiary) Job Description Full-time position, flexible hours. Prerequisite: Ideal candidate would have a background in all of the following areas: analytics, accounting, patient advocacy, medical billing, insurance underwriting, legalese, pharmacology, healthcare administration, Social Security Disability, Medicare & Medicaid. Preference for those with M.D., Ph.D., CPA, RN, NP or Esq. behind their name. Skills: The ideal candidate would be well organized, exhibit patience, possess a friendly phone manner, anticipate problems, show initiative, diligent in finding correct answers and keep meticulous notes. Job Duties May Include: Schedule, prep and arrange transportation for 1-3 doctors’ visits per month. To include compiling a list of questions, a list of medications, changes in symptoms and provide medical records from other healthcare providers Interpret insurance policies and medical billing codes Reconcile medical bills Track payments toward deductibles Inquire about incorrect medical…

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I am Pro-human. Pro-decency. Pro-morals. Pro-healthcare.

May 8, 2017 / 0 Comments

I am Pro-human. Pro-decency. Pro-morals. Pro-healthcare. What happened last Thursday, when the House approved the American Health Care Act (AHCA), represents none of these things. My anger doesn’t just stem from the fact that if passed by the Senate “as is” and enacted into law, it will personally affect me in regards to my pre-existing conditions. My anger lies in the injustice that could be done to millions of Americans, especially to those of you reading this because it likely will affect you, my friends in the chronic pain community. Why is Everyone Saying #ihaveapreexistingcondition ? Like many of those who voted for the AHCA law, I have not read it. After pouring over dozens of articles written by those far more intelligent than me, I have discerned that the blanket statement of “the AHCA law does not cover pre-existing conditions,” is not accurate. The nuances of the bill, however,…

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Professional Patient: Skills Learned from Living with a Chronic Disease

April 19, 2017 / 0 Comments

My business card says “Professional Patient.” I get so many questions about this. What does that mean exactly? To me, I have acquired skills and knowledge that “healthy people” don’t have. Having chronic migraine and pain has exposed me to situations that many others never have to face. When your health turns suddenly, a lot comes at you quickly. Questions you never thought about before. What are my treatment options? What if I can’t work? Which insurance plan is the best for me now? Where can I find support? How do I fill out this mound of paperwork, go to doctors’ appointments, keep my job and run my household at the same time?

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Medical Mondays- Changing Insurance Companies Finale

April 10, 2017 / 0 Comments

This is the last part in the crazy lengths I had to go to to fight for an insurance company to honor their word and collect money they owed me. To read the first part of this series, click here. Recap: I’ve been fighting to get reimbursed for funds I paid out of pocket for medications during the time my new insurance company took to process my application and obtain proof of insurance coverage three months late. 8/25/15- I called back because I had never gotten a phone call or received any mail regarding my last inquiry. They said I would get a call-back within 3 business days. It had now been 9 business days. I explained the situation again. I received the same rhetoric that they would only pay the contracted rate they had for each drug. Again, I explain that I would have happily given the pharmacy my…

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Photo Friday- Taxes and Deducting Medical Expenses

April 7, 2017 / 0 Comments

The deadline for filing federal and state taxes on a personal level is April 17th! I keep meticulous records of all of my expenses. As of 2013, if your medical costs are more than 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) you can deduct them. So if you made $40,000 last year and your medical bills totaled $5,000, that’s 12.5% of your income. You can claim over 10%, so in this case you can deduct $1,000 (or 2.5% of your total medical bills), you can claim a deduction for $1,000. A deduction means more money in your pocket or less money that you will have to pay the government, depending on your situation. Thanks to @Jamie Valendy for providing this link to explain the process further: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Tax-Deductions-and-Credits/-Can-I-Claim-Medical-Expenses-on-My-Taxes-/INF14196.html

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Medical Monday- Changing Insurance Carriers

April 3, 2017 / 0 Comments

I find it important to share the trials and struggles of dealing with insurance companies and doctor bills. It can become a job in and of itself. For those in chronic pain, we only have so much energy to deal with this crap. I feel like they assume you’re not going to fight them and just give in. While I don’t want to spend endless hours on the phone, I am not going to be taken advantage of or stuck in the red tape. I’m sharing a two-party series on an insurance issue from 2015 that took 10 months to resolve. Just know that you are not the only one who gets bogged down in the bureaucracy.

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Hospital Bill #3

February 13, 2017 / 0 Comments

This is the last installment in a 3-part series on dealing with one particular medical bill. Update 9/11/2015 With the last phone call, I forgot to set up a payment plan. In the meantime, I had gotten a collection notice for this bill. Damn it. From previously working in banking, I do know that it will ding your credit score some and making payments as soon as possible helps your score from falling further.

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Hospital Bill #2

February 6, 2017 / 0 Comments

This is the second post on a 3-Part Series, dealing with one particular medical bill. Called 9/8– I now had the information the last person asked for. It was on their website. I mean, if I can access it via their website, shouldn’t they be able to find it? There were 3 fairly large charges that were getting passed on to me.

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Katie Golden

Katie is a professional patient, writer for Migraine.com, US Pain Ambassador, patient advocate, speaker, and freelance writer.

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