Why this blog?

Welcome! Thank you for visiting my blog!

This is my medical and recreational blogsite. Some of the entries on this blog are honest and quite vulnerable, as I wrote them at my lowest point. I try to keep a positive outlook on life, because no one wants to hang out with a downer, including me. Writing these entries has allowed me to see the world through a beneficial filter that allows me to appreciate every moment I have been able to experience in my life, even the difficult ones.

My husband Matthew and I LIVE when we can. I mean we suck the juice out of life, and we aren't ashamed of that outlook. It makes the bad times ok somehow because we took advantage when we were able. The pictures on this blog are part of that. I take pretty pictures of my sick body to boost my self esteem when I am having a difficult time seeing myself as a woman instead of a sick person. It is how I cope with my illness, and no one gets to judge how you survive your difficulties. So live on, and feed your souls.

Watch our story here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG_mrDJ10LM&feature=youtu.be


~ Tonia

I have decided to relaunch my Facebook Page, The Beauty in Illness. Along with the help of two other rare patient advocates, we are hoping to include artistic stories of struggle and perseverence through creative ways. Please check us out and let us know if you would like to contribute!




Hospital Me THEN (2012)

Hospital Me THEN (2012)
Dance like no one is watching!

Hospital me NOW (2015)

Hospital me NOW (2015)
Dance like EVERYONE'S watching

Post Transplant-1 Year (March 2014)

Post Transplant-1 Year (March 2014)
Mi Amor Studio

Pre Dialysis Pinup Shoot (2012)

Pre Dialysis Pinup Shoot (2012)
Dynamite Dames

Mid Dialysis Boudoir (March 2013)

Mid Dialysis Boudoir (March 2013)
100 pounds, and a week from transplant, chest tube tucked into bra like a lady. ;)

Non-Pinup Me Now (2015)

Non-Pinup Me Now (2015)
This girl has four kidneys

Friday, January 15, 2016

Make it Rain, Baby!

Matthew and I pay quite a bit for insurance premiums, as you might imagine. I have insurance through his job as well as Medicare, so each month we pay about $650 just for my health insurance. I am very lucky, because the plans cover my illnesses for the most part. Ever since I went on both insurance plans, my out of pocket has been pretty minimal.

A few months ago, however, I started to receive quite large medical bills out of nowhere. It started appearing as if I wasn't being completely covered for some reason, but when I called my insurance companies, they couldn't tell me the reason. I kept calling the hospital billing office to resubmit the charges, but the bills kept coming to me in the mail, and they started piling up. I began getting calls from collections companies several times a day. I would tell them I was waiting for the insurance companies to get their acts together and communicate with each other, but I knew this wouldn't go away...Not without me having to experience a ton of effort, energy, and frustrating phone calls talking to insurance machines and pressing 1 for patient, 4 for information about a claim, then 0 for talking to an agent 20 minutes later because of "high call volumes."

With no answers, and being really sick from September through the end of the year, I just put off really figuring out what was going on because I knew I shouldn't be responsible for the bills, and I hoped it would all work itself out. Then I called Blue Cross and found out that for some reason back in May when the rejection started, Medicare became my primary insurance instead of my secondary as it had been for four years. This happened without my knowledge. 

Fearing the worst, which was that there was some kind of loophole about Medicare becoming primary a certain amount of time after a transplant, or just some small print I missed accidentally allowing them to not cover certain things, I called my One Source case manager and she conference called Medicare with me to find out the problem.

Turns out it was some kind of glitch in the system that changed Medicare to primary incorrectly, and every single claim since May (an alarming amount of claims) has to be resubmitted now. That sounds terrible, knowing I will have to probably fill my days talking back and forth with the hospital, Medicare, and Blue Cross customer service, but the silver lining is that I'm not responsible for the $63,237.79 I'm in collections for at the moment.

So.....here's a celebratory selfie boudoir photo shoot with all the bills I won't be paying. It may not be a bed full of cash, but it might as well be for people with chronic illnesses, like myself.




 








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