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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308519  
Subject: Re: Credit card debt Date: 9/16/2012 2:17 PM
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The last surgery I had I ended paying about $12K out of pocket, despite the $5K "limit" in the insurance policy. And the things I thought were in-network and had studied to be sure I'd be covered, weren't totally (yeah...did we tell you that your anethesiologist - working AT the in-network hospital - isn't ACTUALLY part of your network?).

The thing about medical debt is that you don't know what you will have until you have it. You just get blindsided by it. You can't plan for it really, except to have an insurance policy, hope it remains valid if you get sick (ie you can keep working if its an employer-provided policy), and hope it covers what you think it will cover (mine didn't).

Living Below Your Means implies some idea of planfulness and budgeting, no matter how variable and vague. Medical debt doesn't fit into this idea of budgeting. It's the only thing I can think of for which you don't actually know what you will spend until after you have already spent it. I mean, if you went to the grocery and there were no prices posted, and the wouldn't tell you until after you committed to pay what things cost, there would be no way to manage. "Oh, that orange that was $2 last week? It's $1500 today. You don't have that at hand? Oh no - we won't take the orange back - you just need to give us $1500 - sorry." That's not a model in which the concept of LBYM or LAYM makes any sense.
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