I decided long ago that we would never be fully done with this journey until we had learned everything we were supposed to while we were on it. God showed us from the very beginning that we had plenty to learn and then made it clear to us that this journey wasn’t going to get any easier if we kept digging in our heels. We dug in our heels for quite a while and we have been working at becoming debt free since before most of our kids were born. When we started being willing to learn the lessons He had for us things did start coming a little easier. It’s still not a piece of cake and we still have plenty of lessons to learn. We look for the lessons now and work to apply them so that we can move past them.
This past week or so with Murphy camped out at the house, we’ve had the opportunity to learn yet another lesson. We have good insurance, probably really good insurance. We are really healthy people and we count on that a little too much. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I think we can’t or won’t get sick, I am just a little too used to having medical insurance cover some of the costs (they covered a lot more when our deductible wasn’t $1000 per person) & then the doctor’s office billing us 6 weeks down the road for the difference. In our world, that is the way it works but that means every medical visit has the potential to be more debt on our plate. Murphy showed up in the past week with 2 eye doctor visits and 1 pediatrician visit. We had to pay the eye doctor the day of the visits on a week when there wasn’t any “extra” money lying around. Then we had the pediatrician visit, after the eye appointments and with a kid with no history of breathing issues, having breathing problems there is no checking the budget to see if we can swing it first, we just go and expect to deal with the fallout later.
That is the lesson learned in this visit. By default, with all of our medical stuff we have no real plan, we have made it our plan to take care of it and deal with the fallout later. That is a financial disaster just looking for a place to happen. We’ve taken our knocks on this one. The eye doctor was paid on Credit Card (rolling eyes at that one) but the payment to the credit card has been scheduled from the emergency fund. No, it’s not a true emergency but it shouldn’t have been “taken care of” with the credit card either. The insurance should cover most of the pediatrician’s bills, we already paid the co pay and we’ll take care of the difference when the bill comes in. We’re finally adding medical care to the budget as a forethought instead of an afterthought. We’ll make it another areas of savings. We’ll pull the money out to cover future medical expenses the same way we do our life, car, house insurance & property taxes because we know that medical expenses will come we just don’t know when they’ll come.
And yes, feel free to shake your head in disbelief that we have failed to plan ahead for something as obvious as medical expenses. Lesson learned & now Murphy can move on!