Let me set the scene for you: Last December I had surgery to repair two hernias. In June, I had surgery to repair a ruptured disc in my back (according to the surgeon, one of the worst he has ever seen). This December came, another hernia repair. Apparently things just come squirting out of all the wrong places all too often on me. On top of these surgeries, I had visits my general practitioner, gastroenterologist, neurologist, nephrologist, orthopedic doctor, and psychiatrist. Let’s also not forget the chiropractor, counselor, and group therapy. Oh yeah–and drugs. All of this on top of time off of work. The long and short of it is that even with insurance, we were tapped out. Bills were getting paid, but we didn’t know where the money was going to come from to pay the next ones.
A few weeks earlier I had applied to have the bill from my back surgery reduced. It looked like either we would have to set up a payment plan with the hospital or with a collector, either one with a hefty interest rate to be sure. Then, last week I got an envelope from the hospital. I opened it, expecting a bill. Instead there was a letter notifying me that the charity committee had met, and reduced the remaining portion of our bill 100%. There was a detailed statement attached that confirmed this. Total remaining owed: $0.
Here was proof in black and white that you don’t get anything if you don’t ask. But more importantly, after such a stressful year, this was probably the best Christmas present that I could get.