On medical bills and insurance providers :-/

I’ve spent the last few days spending all of my free time on the phone with the medical system that Alec’s speech therapy is provided through.  The long and short of it is they don’t seem to have any record of a bill I’ve been paying on for 2 years, making twice-monthly payments.  Suddenly the auto-withdraw from my bank account just stopped, and upon inquiry the several customer service reps I’ve talked to just aren’t able to narrow down what happened.  In fact, one of them told me that they actually don’t do twice a month auto-withdraws, they will only do one per month.  Um, that’s not accurate.  Apparently at some point recently they “switched systems, everyone’s having problems and calling”, but they couldn’t locate which actual account the auto-withdraw was coming from because I literally have 40+ accounts with them.  Every single individual month of speech therapy is considered a new account.  Alec’s been getting speech therapy for over 3 years, so… Not to mention any other doctor’s appointments within this system, ER visits, hospital stays, etc. etc.  So homegirl on the phone pretty much told me she couldn’t sift through all my accounts to find the one I was making payments on because it would take too long.  This is a literal account of me on the phone today:
But this isn’t even the best part of my last few days!  It has come to my attention that my insurance provider, United Healthcare, is no longer paying for ANY of Alec’s speech therapy!  So tomorrow morning I get to call United Healthcare and see why they’ve given up on a non-verbal 5-year old.  I know we were paying 100% of the therapy costs towards the end of last year, but I assumed it was because we were blowing through the deductible and that would change at the beginning of 2014.  I assumed wrong.  And the billing cycle takes so long through the provider and the insurance agency that yes, it really does take several months to discover this kind of information.  So not only have we accrued over $3,000 in speech therapy bills this year, at this point it would literally be cheaper to pay for speech therapy OUT OF POCKET than have it run through insurance.  Which is what we will do, because contrary to what United Healthcare thinks, this is a NECESSARY and HELPFUL service.  So now we need to come up with even more cash up-front because you have to purchase speech visits in a bundle, you can’t just pay for the appointment the day of or anything like that.
I was on the phone for so log this morning dealing with all of this that I literally had my phone on speaker while I was getting ready for work, driving to work, and sitting in the parking lot.  And when I finally hung up, maybe 10 minutes before I was supped to clock in at my job, I just burst into tears.  Because the system is so broken that neither ABA or speech therapy are provided for my son by United Healthcare.  These are massive financial expenses that are accruing every month that are NOT optional.  He is making so much progress right now that I wish I could tell every single person at United Healthcare how excited his behavioral pediatrician was at his last appointment.  ”It’s like I’m meeting a different child”, she told me.  And we’re in this world where the only thing- and literally the only thing- insurance is paying for is part of his occupation therapy.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I am paying thousands in insurance premiums for a provider who is doing nothing but denying all my son’s services but one.

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Treasure hunting: July 24, 2014

Man, I feel like I’m on such a role with treasure hunting that at this point I’m almost bragging. I stopped by one quick estate sale today and got some amazing stuff: something creepy, something Halloweeny, and something (2 things!) pretty.
The creepy:

She’s seen better days but my lifelong love of mannequins took over and I had to have her. She’s resting comfortably in the garage until we can figure out what the hell to do with her.

And my other treats from today:

A halloween blow mold, a wooden bangle, and a Bakelite bangle!! Blow molds can be super pricey if purchased from a collector, so on the rare occasion I find one for dirt cheap I have to snap it up. My beautiful retro/tiki inspired bracelet collection is growing slowly but surely, I’m just holding out hope for the perfect vintage dress to wear them with.

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Another reason Michael’s is better than Hobby Lobby

They sell voodoo dolls!

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Raise your hand if you could use a daiquiri

*Sheepishly raises hand*

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First off, The Hula Girls are super-fun rum drinking music. You can download their stuff on iTunes if you believe me. Second off, they posted an unbelievably ingenious idea on their tumblr account- a cool way to salvage broken tiki mugs:

Oh Em Gee. Little broken tiki mugs in an aquarium, just like little shipwrecks. It looks like I’ll be adding an aquarium to my treasure hunting priorities immediately. I would love to find one of those old built-in rattan aquarium stands to make a display from. I’m probably way too excited about this, but I’m fresh off losing a PMP last week:

Of course I had a few more in the overflow cupboard so no love was lost, I just hate to see a good mug bite the dust.

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There’s no way this isn’t delicious


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America’s roller coast!

My work does monthly “superstar awards” where people who have been caught giving good customer service are entered into drawings for really nice prizes.  I found out on Friday that I won a 4-pack of season tickets to Cedar Point, a world-class amusement park that’s located about an hour from our home.  I went online to check out their website, and much to my surprise, they have several sections on their website dedicated to guests who have autism!  It seems to be similar to what Disney has in place- they have a boarding pass program so little guys and gals on the spectrum don’t have to get too antsy in a long line, they have a page of tips and recommendations for visiting the park with an ASD loved one, an online printable guest assistance guide, and a list of of all kids rides with an excitement level rating.
Now, no part of me thinks we’ll be able to get Alec on a ride within the first few visits, maybe even not this summer, but I’m so excited to take him and help him experience the amusement park I loved so much as a kid.  And because of the season pass we can have trial and error runs all summer long.  If he gets too over-stimulated we can just leave and come back another day- no money lost!
I’ll be sure to update as soon as we’ve actually taken him and have some legit feedback on their services for guests who are differently abled.
Aaaaaaand you already know it is ON for Hallo-weekends.  We had intended to attend this year anyways, due to the involvement of Midnight Syndicate, but now we might just go twice!

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Treasure hunting: July 12, 2014

I’m not sure how most people would define happiness, but to me happiness is a husband that will elbow an old lady out of the way at an estate sale to get a cool fake bird that would look awesome in your tiki room.

And if that weren’t exciting enough, this rattan lamp was at the same sale:

I really can’t get over the great stuff I’ve been finding the last few months. I’ve had such little time for treasure hunting, but almost every little stop has yielded great reward. Happy hunting to all!

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Treasure hunting: June 5th and 9th

Some goodies from the last week! I stopped by a neat little estate sale last week and found 2 absolutely gorgeous, damn near mint condition mid-century end tables! I LOVE blond wood, and these will match our other end tables and tv stand perfectly:


Then earlier this week I stopped at a church rummage sale and scooped a mini tiki fork and spoon and a wooden bangle bracelet:


My treasure hunting goals this summer puts a high priority on bracelets, so I was pretty excited about the bangle. It’s been a really great start to spring rummaging :-)

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Treasure hunting: May 27th, 2014


One of those super cheesy tiki mugs from Target, and what will eventually be remade into a cool bird swing for the tiki room. I LOVE the Disney tiki rooms, and as an homage I’ve always wanted a ceiling full of fake birds on swings. Something like this is the ultimate goal:


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