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Jenniffer's Journey:

Another medical bill

One of the reasons that I chose to apply for Project Money earlier this year was that I had medical bills that were piling up, and I couldn’t get my head above water long enough to make a dent in the total. I had a medical flex spending account that I set up through my employer, but I didn’t have enough in that account to cover all of the medical bills.

So, one of the best things I did early on in Project Money was consolidate and eliminate - I consolidated into one loan some of my debt to include the unpaid medical bills, and I eliminated the stress of not having to worry about how I was going to balance medical bill payments with the necessities, like groceries. 

To stay ahead of any future medical bills that might pop up, I opened up a medical sub savings account at Summit, and I contribute to that savings every time I get paid. Thank goodness that I started contributing to toward that savings account as soon as I opened it early on in Project Money because I just got a medical bill on the mail last week. Ugh! I had a minor procedure recently, and I thought that it would be covered. All of it. After all, it was called a MINOR procedure, not a MAJOR surgery. But alas, it was not covered as I had expected (hoped). And because we are only a month and a half away from the end of the year, you can imagine how low the balance is in my medical flex spending account after nearly a year’s worth of spending. So paying for the bill out of that account is pretty much out of the question. Instead, I’ll be using the money I set aside in a sub savings account for medical bills to pay for this bill. 

As we move into the cold and flu season, what better time than now to talk about a financial fun fact on health savings:  if you have the option to open a medical flex savings account through your employer, you may want to consider it if you haven’t already. It can be tricky to try to budget an appropriate amount since most flex spending accounts are “use it or lose it” by the end of the program year, but it’s good to have something – even if it’s not enough – than to have nothing at all. Another option for paying medical bills or even smaller health expenses like your annual flu shot or prescriptions and over the counter medication is to set up a savings account dedicated for nothing other than medical/health expenses. 

I’ll pay this most recent bill with the savings I have set aside, and I’ll continue to contribute to the medical savings so when that next medical bill comes through, I won’t have a minor heart attack trying to figure out how to pay for it.  


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