On Tuesday I posted a blog about whether or not our over 18 children are adults if we pay for them. I mentioned paying for my daughter’s healthcare even though I’m legally not allowed to ask questions about it.

I had just written a reply to someone’s comment, and then I began to go through my inbox. Betty’s new dog license, 20% off one item at Bed Bath, Discount tickets for Slave Play- only till January 23, and a bill from a Doctor that my daughter had seen.

Now I know why my daughter went to the Doctor because we first played three rounds of “Do you really think it could be strep” and me responding “I have no idea because I’m not a Doctor but you have one on campus.” Also, my daughter has never once had strep throat but apparently some kids on campus had it so my daughter assumed that she’d hit the strep lottery. (side note- no strep just a little post nasal drip irritating her throat cured by a few cough drops and tea with honey)

First off, it’s addressed to my daughter. But I clearly see from the return address that it’s a lab bill from a health corporation.

Technically I’m not supposed to open this but if we wait for my daughter to get home, what’s the window for paying? So we hit the first wall- they’ve sent a bill to an address that my daughter should only be living in for short periods of the year.

But I know exactly what this is, so I open it.

What if I didn’t know why my daughter had gone to the Doctor?

Do I open the letter anyway? Do I call her? Do I mail it to her so she can take care of it? Should medical bills of college students be emailed only to avoid this two address snafu?

At the end of the day- my husband and I are responsible for this bill. We signed all sorts of forms that we would pay off any debt that my daughter accrues while going to the Doctor and such…

I like knowing what I’m paying for. I look at the gas bill before we pay it. My husband checks off the things on the credit card statement. I confirm that someone in our household has actually bought the things in Amazon statements…Do you look at bills before you pay them, or do you assume everything is hunky dory? Shouldn’t we look over health care bills as well?

FYI- about 4 years ago, when I was 52ish, I had an ugly case of pneumonia. I was also through menopause. Do you know the Doctor place gave me a pregnancy test and charged 500$ for it? I refused to pay for it because I told them that 100% I was not pregnant- and it was an unnecessary expense.

Don’t we all like to know if we are being cheated or scammed or having our identity stolen?

Isn’t it our right to know exactly what we are paying for?

So there’s a bill, that we are contractually obligated, to pay but we have legally have no right to ask about it or question it?

Then, Nana L brought up a good point. Her 18 year old Grandson received news of an illness and he had no one in the room with him because he was 18. Shouldn’t a Doctor ask the patient if they want someone to accompany them to an appointment such as this? At any age, wouldn’t you want a second set of ears to listen? While I get that laws are set up to protect, sometimes shouldn’t there be a slightly different protocol?

Do rules set up to protect people sometimes do more harm than good? Shouldn’t there be some system set up so that parents, given the adult child’s permission, be given updates about things like this, without having to go to a lawyer and draw up documents?

We have no expectation of privacy once we leave our house. We can be filmed, photographed and listened to. Yet we can’t ask about a bill we are supposed to pay for? I think there needs to be a better way.

34 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: Insuring College Age Children

  1. I think parents should pay for whatever they want, but if they actually want to give their kids some extra responsibility I think it’s helpful for them to let their children pay their own bills. Get them in the habit of being on top of things. I had my kids set up bank accounts for my son’s college bills. But the boys paid their actual own bills. Both my sons had academic scholarships so their tuition was paid for in full. However, they still took care of all the the paperwork etc. for dorm, apartment, meals, etc. My folks took care of everything when I was in college and I was clueless of those details . I made sure my boys were given the proper skills I never got..

    Liked by 5 people

    1. We let my daughter pay the actual bills. Of course, the money was coming out if her 529 and there were all sorts of snafus for getting the actual,payment to the school😆. My daughter has her own FSA debit card, which ch she uses on-site, but if I get the bill to my address, it needs to be paid in a timely manner.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I know! I think cause it was a blood test. But still, I actually wrote in my letter…EPT…twelve bucks. But what pissed me off is I actually wrote on my intake form. No chance of pregnancy no test needed because apparently if you’re a woman under 60 you’re supposed to have one before XRay, but this was just egregious.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. To play the other side, there’s a rule that if you’re under a certain age and a woman and about to have X-rays, they’re supposed to verify you’re not pregnant because if you are and the X-rays cause damage they’re liable. So people lie which imposes rules so that money isn’t wasted. People self perpetuate these things. It’s cover your ass 24/7.


      2. I get the pregnancy test to cover liability in a liable-ridden society. It’s the $500 for the test that has absolutely no justification whatsoever, except perhaps to cover the numerous HMO middlemen.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m not in an HMO. I’m in a PPO. But when I was in the ER…you have to see what they charged for blood tests and such. And then the resulting tests my primary asked for. You can’t believe the costs of these tests…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow that’s a little steep for a pregnancy test! My daughter took care of her own copays and meds while she was in college, but we paid the monthly premiums. She was working and we were helping her with rent. Fortunately she didn’t need anything other than contacts or birth control so it was manageable for her. I didn’t see any bills because she had them all sent via her email.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The legalities around adult children are extremely harsh. My son’s GF has a twin that has severe CP. She is non-verbal, non-communicative, no motor skill abilities because of it. Yet, when she turned 18 her mom had to deal with people demanding that she have her daughter sign things because her mom no longer could. Even though they have full medical power of attorney and had the legal documents detailing their process towards conservatorship (which they couldn’t even begin until she turned 18). It is such a pain for us parents to help our kids navigate our crazy system, but we only get a tiny taste of the nightmare it could be. Oh, and good luck trying to navigate all that if you aren’t actually the person responsible for paying the bills and yet you are getting a bill. We’ve done that and the circular logic that played out was nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve wrapped ourselves up in so much technicality and loopholes and red tape…regarding everything…and while I get these things are done to protect us, there’s a point where you can’t think straight. My friend has a son with downs and yes…becoming guardians and such…just crazy process

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Once in awhile I get a medical bill in the mail for my 25-year-old daughter because she’s on our health insurance. I’ll call her and ask about it. She has to find a job with benefits by the time she’s 26 — or pay for her own insurance. Her job pre COVID and layoffs had insurance. Her employer now keep her right below the hours considered full time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. somethings I didn’t even wanna know about my daughters, so I just paid the balance due after the health insurance paid their part. sometimes for a Dad it’s best to leave it at “the bill is paid” and say or think no more.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lots of good questions.

    I tried to make an appointment for my son after he turned 18–I wasn’t even allowed to do that by the doctor’s office. My son had to make the appointment himself, lol. There is a part of me that can be a bit helicopterish—but now that he is 18 you can’t be as involved. I think he is going to end up having sinus problems like I do. So last time he went to the doctor I coached him on what to say because I wanted to be sure that he went on antibiotics. But I know he has to learn to navigate all of these situations himself. I opened his bills and paid them.

    I’ve heard a lot of people say to younger people, including the HR dept at my work that younger people should stay on their parents insurance as long as possible. I don’t want to end up paying for my kids insurance until they are 26—there has to be a better way. I guess I will cross that bridge when my youngest graduates from college.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My daughter went to a doctor and my daughter asked me to come in after the exam. The doctor made my daughter say in front of the doctor I allow my mother to be in this room and listen to what you say. To which my daughter ad libbed, why wouldn’t I want another set of ears (there was nothing bad…just wonky periods) as to the insurance thing…my friends 22 year old daughter just got her first job. My friend wants to keep the daughter in insurance. I said literally WTF are you thinking? Especially her and her husband are retired so they have some tangled expensive plan…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Is it just me but at the end I think it was a whole added topic. First of all, yes I look over all my bills but the credit cards are hardest because my wife has a second card and doesn’t like to look at the statement with me because she thinks I am complaining. Also she is embarrassed when I look over the bill at a restaurant, she just wants me to pay and not check the math, and items.
    On the second topic, medical appointments, I think 18 may be legally adult but a second pair of ears never hurts. When I was 18 I attended all my appointments alone, including the one after my sudden ten day stay in hospital when my bp was 210/90. My appointment with the nephrologist was by myself when the uncomfortable doctor explained my prognosis of kidney disease to my solo self. It was a lot and I had a hard time explaining it to my parents who had a lot of questions. Perhaps it was best anyway though as my mom was so caring and protective it would have upset her terribly and worried her. It would have made it twice as hard when I took a job and moved 5 hours away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was a continuation of tuesdays blog, so I blended things. But to your second point, you should tell someone that they might want someone with them when giving that kind of diagnosis


  8. Oooh I could go off on this! This whole privacy thing has crossed the line as far as medical things and your children. Just to give you a brief example of why it gets my dander up. My child was 13 and 1/2 when diagnosed with anorexia. Forget 18, when they turn 14 here in Pennsylvania they can make their own decisions about their mental health! IF my child would have had to go back in rehab it would have had to be their decision once they turned 14, we couldn’t put them back in. I am probably opening a can of worms for I know that there are parent’s out there who will put their kids on meds that they don’t need or put them in rehabs just to not have to deal with them. So I get the issue in protecting the child, but there needs to be a better answer. Fortunately my child was ready to be out of rehab when 14 but what if they hadn’t been.
    Kids can’t drive before they are 16, but yet they can decide about their mental health at 14??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand your frustration. You’re stymied from being able to actually help…and I agree, even 18 or 20 or 55 is too young to completely understand what’s going on. It’s ok to discuss these things with ithers


  9. I hear you, LA, but really I feel like this is a hodge-podge of questions that I nodded and shook my head through.

    1. a pregnancy test wtf?
    2. parents should have convos with their children so they know when the bill comes.
    3. a pregnancy test what in the entire f?
    4. If you’re paying the bill, then you can open the bill lol
    5. but why did they have a pregnancy test on there?
    6. I started asking my daughters if they want me to come with them to the appointments because, honestly, it has nothing to do with if they’re adults or not. I explained to my youngest that it’s more about having a second ear to listen when you’re not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok…this was one of those walk in places, not my normal pc. (It’s funny that I only go to my doctor for a check up not if I’m sick) I knew I had bronchitis or pneumonia and I just wanted to get my ten day course of antibiotics. But I had to have X-rays. And if you’re a women under a certain age, for liability purposes, they’re supposed to confirm you’re not pregnant. So it’s a cover your ass situation…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is tricky because the buck stops with you. I’d call first before opening anything. I remember one of my daughters had to have a pregnancy test before they would put her on acne medication, she was mortified, I think she was like 15.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s