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My $800 mistake

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If you’ve ever made an expensive mistake you know how this feels for me. I could be disappointed in myself because I know better and still made a costly mistake but instead I’m giving myself grace.

Life is hard enough right now. I’m feeling tremendous stress to have all of the answers for everyone else but also take care of myself.

That’s how it happened.

I had a perfectly planned year with all of my doctor appointments scheduled at least six months in advance and then COVID-19 hit and everything was canceled or rescheduled.

In January I should have had annual screenings. No big deal. Except things happened and screenings were overlooked. Is it really a problem to skip a year? It can be but I was willing to take my chances. It was a very bad plan.

By May, I had discovered a problem. Not a large, scary problem but one that I had observed before. It was a cyst the last time. I was pretty sure it was a cyst this time so I waited until my already scheduled annual exam (read free because it is a preventative service) to have it checked out.

A week later I found myself having diagnostic tests.

Those are NOT free because they are not a screening tool. They are specifically looking to diagnose a problem. After receiving a bill for $801, I now know that I have a cyst most likely caused by drinking too much caffeine.

When I opened that bill I was livid with myself because every day I teach people how to avoid these situations. I was not following simple processes to avoid over paying. I have money put aside for medical bills so they don’t create moments of financial crisis but the disappointment in myself stung.

Thinking back there were multiple ways to avoid paying out so much money:

  • Drink less caffeine
  • Schedule and keep free annual screening appointment
  • Check with insurance provider for the cost of diagnostic tests BEFORE appointment

It seems pretty simple right? Prevention really is worth a pound of cure but sometimes a phone call can save you money and steer you toward other less expensive options.

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