Monday, March 6, 2017

Bills, bills, reimbursements (???), and bills

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Lately I’ve been trying to catch up on some financial tasks related to healthcare for my 3.5-year-old son, Oliver, who has cerebral palsy, and I’m struck by how much paper- and e-work caring for a special-needs child can involve. Last week alone, I…
  • Emailed a new (to Oliver) physical therapist (because our current one isn’t covered by our health insurance), asking when she’s available to start
  • Paid a bill for speech therapy
  • Emailed our health insurance company, asking for an update on a request for reimbursement for a speech therapy evaluation
  • Compared documents detailing reimbursements expected from our insurance company against our bank records, to verify that we did in fact receive those reimbursements
  • Prepared an Excel file of Oliver’s medical expenses in 2016 that were not reimbursed by insurance, for tax-return–filing (and, hopefully, -saving) purposes
  • Researched how to get reimbursed by travel insurance for Oliver’s hospitalization abroad back in late December 2015
  • Worked on gathering documents that I’ll need in order to file a medical claim for that hospitalization to the travel insurance company (bills, plus documentation of what our health insurance company has already paid)
  • Rummaged through a bunch of papers looking for a bill that I’ll probably need to send to that travel insurance company, realized I don’t have it, and then emailed our health insurance company asking if they can send it to me
  • Contemplated sending a “Physician Statement Form,” which is necessary for reimbursement from that travel insurance company, to a physician who saw Oliver during that hospitalization back in December 2015, and decided that was going to be too much work for now, I’ll do that later
  • Thought about making a list of documents needed for an application for “dubbele kinderbijslag” (double the usual quarterly child benefit available to children in Holland, available by application for those with significant enough disabilities), and then looking for those documents and scanning them into my computer, but decided that was going to be too much work for now, too, I’ll do that later
  • Considered making a list of documents to send to our accountant, including a list of Oliver’s unreimbursed medical expenses in 2016, but decided that was also going to be too much work for now, I’ll do that later (I’m sensing a theme here…)
  • Filed therapy bills and various other medical documents into Oliver’s box of medical files. (Yes, he has his own box of medical files. And it’s just about full.)
Oliver's medical files

I’m not saying all of this to brag about myself. 

(This is a larger-than-typical volume of financial work for me, to be honest, spurred on in part by the tax-returnfiling season. Plus, my mom and brother have been in town, so I had lots of childcare last week—and thus more “free” time.)

I just wanted to highlight the types of things we parents of special-needs children have to do in order to help keep our families as financially afloat as possible.

And to remind us that basically, we’re awesome.

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