Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Money money money

After a few embarrassing phone calls to family members and a couple of crying sessions, I asked my boyfriend's mom if she would co-sign on a loan to help cover my $2500 in costs, which are due at my History and Physical appointment on August 3rd. YAAAAY! She was really nice about it... she's great!!

I went into my orthodontist's office yesterday and explained that I am having my surgery on August 11th and that I sure hope I'm ready for surgery because I haven't been into the orthodontist's office since March and my bottom teeth have shifted a little bit. She was only able to squeeze me in for an appointment on August 7th, which I'm a little worried about, being that it's only four days before the surgery.

I also found out yesterday who my assistant surgeon is... Dr. William McMunn, who lives in Denver. Yeah, I so googled him.

I totally ordered a couple zip-n-squeeze bags and the cool jaw wrap ( I'm hoping (more like praying) that stuff will be here in time. I also ordered The Sims 3 to help ease the pain :)

I'm having a bit of a dilemma with school. My surgery is August 11th, and school starts August 24th. Ummm. Yeah. I'm probably not going to make it the first week. I guess I'll have to send all my professors emails and hope that I won't miss too much the first week. I'm hoping (again, more like praying) I'll be able to go by the second week of school, which will be 3 weeks post-op. Anyone have any insight (besides "you are stupid for scheduling surgery right before school," haha)?

On a more personal note, I am kind of proud of myself for getting this far all by myself. It's been really hard, being that I had no idea braces and surgery were really plausible back when I stumbled over kristen's blog a couple of years ago. I had some bad experiences in the beginning... it seemed like no one wanted to help me, and I felt completely lost and hopeless many times. I am so lucky that insurance covered my braces and (seriously, out of sheer luck) surgery, and I hope that this is all worth it in the end. Thank you to everyone for being so supportive and helpful. Had I not found all of your blogs, I probably never would have gotten this far. much love, much love.

Also, if anyone is interested, here are my orthognathic surgery fees, right off the paper Dr. Vetter's office gave me:

Initial Consultation: $175.00
Progress Checks with Dr. Vetter (per visit): $50.00
History and Physical Appointment (models, photos, facebow, wax bite and records): $130.00
Surgical Fee (includes Dr. Vetter's fee, 3 months of follow-up care and post-operative radiographs): $7,650.00
Assistant Surgeon's Fee: $1,912.50
A new face and newfound confidence: priceless k, i added that

These are just Dr. Vetter's fees; I know that I have a $400 co-pay at the facility where I'm having the surgery, and insurance is paying their facility and anesthesia fees.

Again, I am only being required to pay the assistant surgeon's fee, my current account balance (from my consultation), and my history and physical fee up front. They kindly waived the up front Surgical Fee for me because I whined and cried and stomped my feet a lot (not really, but I told them I couldn't afford that craziness).

So, that's where I'm at. ;)

Friday, July 24, 2009

a surgery date

...and now that we've started moving, everything is happening so fast.

I have a freakin' surgery date!! August 11th is the big day.

I had a week or two of major problems, though. Kim (financial coordinator) told me that Dr. Vetter requires payment up front, before the insurance company pays out (apparently they don't have a contract with Kaiser so they can pretty much do whatever they want). Grand total: $10,000, plus my $400 copay for the facility. Um, hello?

So I applied with Care Credit using my mom and my aunt and was denied (of course). I went to Dr. Vetter's office and told Kim that there is no way I can pay 10,000 bucks up front... it's just not something that is possible!

A couple of days later I met with Kim and she told me that Dr. Vetter agreed to let me have the surgery before paying... something they "have never done before." However, I still have to pay the assistant surgeon's fee of $2000 plus my current bill and the cost of my x-rays and molds, which comes out to $2500. WAAAAY better than ten grand. I'm really happy that they did this for me. Hopefully I can find a way to get a loan for a couple thousand before August 3rd, when I go in for molds and the money is due.

Another thing: I was on the phone with Kaiser seeing if there was any way the insurance company could pay out BEFORE the surgery, and the lady told me something very interesting. She said that usually, insurance claims are sent to Kaiser, and they are reviewed by Kaiser's staff and then sent to an oral surgeon for a final decision. But for some reason, my case was never sent to an oral surgeon for approval or denial, it was just approved without any further review. She said she's not sure what happened and my surgery probably would have been denied had it gone to the oral surgeon... but now that they've approved it, they're still going to pay for it. The only thing is that she suggested I don't try and go to a different surgeon who doesn't require me to pay up front. Why? Because that surgeon would have to submit a new claim, meaning it would go to an oral surgeon for review and "most likely be denied."

So, you can see my dilemma, here. I have to stay with Dr. Vetter or risk losing my insurance coverage. I really like him, though, and everyone at his office is very helpful.

Now I just need 2500 bucks. :)

ohhh annnd I HAVE to remember to go in to my orthodontist's office on Monday and let them know I have a surgery date. Back in March (or whenever it was) Dr. Arango told me there was nothing else he could do and that I was ready for surgery, and to just let him know when I had a date. So I haven't been in there for an adjustment in four months! Not good.. I was supposed to go in last month, at the latest. My bottom teeth are looking a little crooked...

Yay for a date, though!

Friday, July 10, 2009


i haven't done a braces pic post in quite awhile... not much has changed.

here's a side view. still stickin' out! :)

the news

so, today i got the news that i've been waiting for.

my surgery claim has been approved by kaiser permanente.

i got the voicemail this afternoon and i started crying! my surgery and facility fee are approved. my work recently switched from cigna (yuck) to kaiser, and so i submitted a new claim through my surgeon's office last week. some research i did online made it seem like kaiser was way more likely to approve orthognathic surgeries than a lot of other companies. i am so thankful that we got new insurance.

kim at dr. vetter's office told me to call on monday so that we can start taking the next steps. i haven't been to my orthodontist's office since march--he told me to wait to make another appointment until i knew what was going on with my surgery.

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!! i actually jumped up and down earlier. hahaha.

my mom got an akita, and we all decided on the japanese name Hana. She's so cute. Here are the two of us, pic taken yesterday.

again, thank you everyone for all your helpful comments. I'm finally moving forward!