“Yes, can you please tell me if my daughter’s doctor is part of our network?,” I asked customer service once I navigated through the myriad of automated phone options. This was my third day in a row making phone calls to doctor’s offices, the hospital, our health insurance company, physical therapy and the pharmacy. It turned out that my daughter had a torn labrum in her shoulder and, after months of rest & physical therapy with no improvement, surgery was the next step.
Health insurance is the biggest racket going in my humble opinion. As much as I like planning things (hmmm, maybe that’s why I became an Estate Planner?:), navigating which procedures, specialists, facilities, equipment and prescriptions would be in our healthcare network and which would be out-of-network turned into almost a full-time job for me in the days leading up to surgery. And then don’t even get me started on the arduous process of submitting receipts for out of pocket expenses to the health insurance company for approval!
I could’ve just “winged” it and not worry about discerning between in-network and out-of-network expenses but given that our deductible is twice as much out-of-network than in-network, I decided it was worth it to our family to invest the extra time and planning to save us money while still ensuring my daughter got the best care possible.
I suppose many folks think about Planning their Estates the same way I feel about planning my daughter’s surgery and dealing with my health insurance company: Not a fun task but something that had to be done nevertheless.
Planning Your Estate doesn’t have to be painful, however, especially when you’re working with a professional who can help you navigate all of the issues and can make valuable suggestions about your estate based on your priorities, values, family dynamics, financial situation, etc. Sure, we may discuss issues that aren’t pleasant to think about (death!) but you don’t do yourself nor your family any favors by ‘sticking your head in the sand’ and failing to plan.
REMEMBER: A little thoughtful and legal written estate planning NOW will likely save you and your loved ones a lot of heartache and money down the road. Plus, look at the bright side….you don’t have to deal with insurance companies when planning your estate!
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