Saturday, March 28, 2020

This and That and COVID-19 Life

I hope everyone is doing what they are supposed to do and following CDC guidelines and state stay at home orders.  I did break the rules a bit this week.  I had a dentist appointment for a cleaning that I didn't want to reschedule and my dentist was open, so on Wednesday I went and got that done.  While I was there I paid for half of a large bill that has been lingering from 2019. 

The LoML had major medical issues we were dealing with from September of 2018 through the end of 2019 and some of it had to deal with his teeth.  He had a bunch of teeth removed and then had a partial denture appliance made.  All of this involved quite a few appointments and for some reason, even though the dentist submitted everything to insurance, the insurance company has no record of it.  No denial, just no evidence that it was submitted.  So, with this being tough times for everyone, and they were open for my appointment, I decided to pay half of the bill ($1,500) and told them to provide me with all the info and dates etc. of all the services for him last year so I could call insurance and figure this out.  They are going to do the research and get back to me.  Regardless of the outcome, they shouldn't go without.  And if at some point the insurance company pays them it will be a credit on my account so it isn't lost money.

We had another leftover medical bill for $3,500 that was sent in December to the insurance company for surgery that occurred in June.  The insurance company denied that as being submitted too late, so the surgeon billed us in February.  I called the insurance company because pursuant to the in-network contract the surgeon isn't allowed to bill me for their failing to submit to insurance in time.  The insurance company tried calling the billing office while I was on the phone with them, and continued leaving voice mails for two more weeks with nobody calling them back.  Then in March I received a dunning notice for that bill, so I called the insurance company again who tried again to call them to no avail.  They are submitting a complaint to the surgeon's office for violating their contract.

In the meantime I went to get my annual mammogram (prior to stay at home order) which is across the street from the hospital and the surgeon's office, so on my way back to work I popped over there and inquired about why they are billing me.  The office staff told me to ignore the bill and if I get another bill to call them about it.  Really?  I feel like this is a scam and they screwed up and just decided to see if I would pay.  Well, the joke is on them because the insurance company will file the complaint and they will be on notice.  And if I get another bill I'll call the insurance company again and file ANOTHER complaint.

We loved the surgeon and the LoML still has follow-up appointments with him, but I will not be played.

So after my dentist appointment on Wednesday I did go to my office to print something.  I was surprised how many people were on the roads.  I live in a college town and the students were all sent home two weeks ago but there still was a good amount of car activity.  I was only out to do my dentist appointment and then hit my office to print something, which was empty, and then home.  Otherwise, for the past two weeks its been work at home and after work we sit in our backyard and have cocktail hour throwing the frisbee for the dogs, or we go for walks in the neighborhood.  Personally I'm loving this simpler life.  My work days are longer since there is no commute and I hop right on the computer with my morning coffee, and I get a lot more work done with only the dogs or cats interrupting me for pets and snuggles.

Well I hope everyone is just staying calm and staying connected with their loved ones and friends.  It is more important now then ever.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Working From Home For The Foreseeable Future

I am on day two of working from home.  I'm grateful to work for a company that has been preparing for this possibility since January.  We were told to come in on Monday and each team in my department had their meetings to discuss what is going on.  Ours was at 10:30 am.  We then packed up what we thought we would need and went home to work, likely until the end of April if not longer. 

The LoML works from home full time.  His normal day to day duties can be doing phone customer support or he will get dispatched to a customer site.  Last week he spent 2 days on a navel base installing a part.  I sent him with a pack of disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.  The base was in a state that didn't have any reported cases of COVID-19 so risk was low, but better to be safe than sorry.  We aren't sure if he will be required to do on site support going forward during this crisis.  The problem is the work he does supports a critical public safety feature.  We shall see.

My oldest is in her second year of being a 6th grade ELA teacher.  Schools here closed last Friday for two weeks, likely to be extended.  She is union so she will be paid.  My youngest is a year post-college and works as a plant scientist at a large company but they hire their skilled lab workers as contractors, paid hourly.  They closed the labs on Monday and she is now not getting paid.  She has savings to last her a while and we have offered our help. 

These are crazy times we are living in.  We all just need to take things a day at a time.  Keep in digital contact with the people who are regulars in your lives (coworkers, friends, neighbors, family, etc).  Wave and smile at people as you take walks around your neighborhood.  Share your toilet paper.  Spare a square.  Civility and kindness must reign.

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