Saturday, December 20, 2008

The bestest computer program for sick people

I promise I do more than review products. But I'm always so fascinated by the fact that a simple difference in design can make such a huge impact on the user. That's why I love AT, I think.

Today, as I enjoyed my snow day, I decided to do something about that pile of medical info in my bottom drawer. I've written before on how I'm compiling my records on Medicalert and for someone with a complicated health history, that's a godsend.

But what about all those pharmacy receipts and insurance documents? I nearly have a breakdown every year trying to figure it all out. Should I go for the HSA insurance? Should I take the board paid insurance through my school? Should I get on my husband's plan? How much do I contribute to my FSA? Urgh. Before, I was so grateful to have any insurance, even the crappy insurance I had to pay hundreds a month for myself, that I didn't care. But I also have credit card bills that will one day kill me -- not all of my credit card debt is medical, but I imagine about 50% is. That was the price of that crappy insurance.

Now I have options. Not great ones mind you, and they are all dependent on me staying healthy enough to work full-time and hubby working as well, but still -- they are options. And it's nice. I've been covered by three different insurances this year -- for a month, I was covered by all three simultaneously.

I just spent about three hours filing all my EOBS and pharmacy receipts for this year. I still have no idea how to figure out what I paid with my FSA. As I was sitting there, not knowing whether to file by date, by payment method, by provider or what, I thought "This is what databases are meant for."

I started to create an excel spreadsheet and decided to look to see if anyone else had done anything similar. I found Quicken Medical Expense Manager. It's so beautiful, I want to cry. It's just a relief. It was expensive, but man.... I can look things up by what I had done, how much it was, if I paid by FSA, if my insurance paid, or other. I can't tell you how frustrating it was last year to almost get to my out of pocket max but not to be absolutely sure. Or when the Xray from 6 months ago pops out of nowhere, begging to be paid. I'll think I paid it, but I won't know.

This is a good system. Beats the hell out of the piles and notebooks that I break out during tax season. For $50, it's so worth it already.

I've often thought that the business of being sick gets in the way of getting well.

If someone buys me a receipt scanner for Christmas or a scanner with a document feeder, my life will just freaking rock.

1 comment:

Elise Gosch said...

Thank you for sharing. I am shocked and sickened. My 2 year old has Angelman Syndrome and so I am somewhat new to the special needs community.

I am still sick after hearing the tape recordings - just sick! And is it really true that 60-80% of all children/adults with disabilities are abused?

I just can't imagine anyone so cruel to hurt my little Aubrey. Thank you for making me more aware.

Is this just a practice in MO - to have these separate state schools? Or do all states have a similar set up.