How To Decrease Your stress About Medical Bills

How do you feel when you pay your medical bills?

Do you feel over charged and frustrated?

I noticed the other day that medical bills, even $36 ones have an emotional charge for me.

I know I’m not the only person who feels that way, so I thought I’d find the pain point and share it.

My daughter’s addiction was the first time that I really experienced all the loopholes of medical insurance and it left me with a lot of unresolved frustrations.

Plus, I paid a lot of medical bills that didn’t change anything.

When I get a bill I default to It feeling like a waste of money and I feel a sense of helplessness.

The helplessness comes in because while I was taking my daughter to every doctor I could think of, I couldn’t help her.

Since I wasn’t intentional with my thinking during that time those two situations became very enmeshed.

I know other parents experience that as well.

You’re spending more money than you could have imagined, and you aren’t getting anywhere.

You’re simultaneously fighting for your child and trying to figure out how to get the most out of your insurance coverage. 

I spent endless hours on the phone with my insurance trying to figure out what they actually did cover that would help my daughter.

Every time I thought I figured it out there was another loophole. 

Then there was the rehab that was understaffed, kicked my daughter out for running away, kept my money, sent the BBB a copy of “refund check” they never sent me, and threatened to sue me if I kept pursuing a refund.

Once my daughter turned 18 and moved out the doctor visits and bills stopped.

Those feelings about medical bills never went away, there was just no trigger for them for several years because there were no medical situations in my life.

As I was pulling into the doctor’s office the other day I got a text message medical bill.

I thought wow, this is excessive. 

Can’t they just mail it?

I was very put out about it.

That was a clue to me that my feelings about it needed to be looked into.

I don’t want to get angry and have my blood pressure shoot up every time I get a medical bill.

I talked it out with a friend, you can do that or write about it.

Make sure you choose a friend that can be neutral about it and won’t drag you into more negativity.

If you or a loved one is having a medical issue that’s stressful enough.

Clean pain about medical bills will serve you.

Clean pain is just pin pointing why you’re hurting and letting it be about that and not adding anything else to it.

  • Get all your thoughts about it out so you can see what’s driving your current story.  Not just complaining but digging into what your pain point is.
    • What do you believe about medical bills?
      • Should they cost less?
      • Are your beliefs yours or did you grow up around someone who complained about bills a lot?
    • How do you feel when a bill comes in the mail?
    • How do you feel when you pay them?
    • Have you had any significant life experiences that involved a lot of medical expenses? If so how do you think that affected you?
    • How do you ACT when you get medical bills? Do you argue about them, stack them on the counter and ignore them, be mean to the person when you pay? These are important to know because they are signals that you will recognize as you’re trying to change. Knowing your signals tells you that you need to redirect to your new story.
  • How do you want to feel about it? Pick a feeling because in step 3 we will reinforce that feeling. Purchases feel good when we value what we’re buying.  What do you value about the medical services you’re receiving? If you’re highly triggered by medical bills then start with neutral.  You can do this process more than once so don’t try to make too big of a change all at once.
  • Decide what you want your new story to be. This will be the story you practice until it becomes a new belief.
    • Brainstorm some new thoughts you want to intentionally think about medical bills.
    • Choose your words carefully. The words should feel aligned with how you want to feel.
    • Practice your thoughts until they become your default.