We had a homebirth with one of the well known homebirth midwives in our area. She was great. Everything went well. Until now...
We paid her on time. After the birth she mentioned that sometimes insurance will reimburse her patients some money if she bills the company. We knew she wasn't in network but thought, why not give it a try. She used her billing company and received several hundred dollars back to give to us. (She got the money beginning of October and I finally called her at the beginning of December when we still hadn't heard from her).
Unfortunately, the money she got was not reimbursment from the insurance company, but directly from our HSA (Health Savings Account - which we donate to monthly from our paycheck). They gave her everything that was in there. Which probably would not have been a big deal, we would probably have to put it back in there or something, but she has not given us the money.
She has been a little flakey before, but always come through. I've called her several times and heard back from her only once when she left a message on our machine saying yes, she got the money and had been waiting to see if any more came before she gave it to us.
She has a great reputation around here. We like her. But she hasn't even said when she would get it to us and has not been returning my phone calls. Any ideas? I mean, before we file with small claims court?
Thank you in advance.
I have tried to call you repeatedly about the money you were given and haven't had the chance to get back to us yet. That money came out of our Health Savings Plan and we'd really like to get it back in there. I know you are very busy, but it's been almost half a year since you were given the money and we'd really like to have it back.
I'm absolutely sick to even say this, because I loved and appreciated your kindness and service so much, but I'm beginning to feel like you may be blowing me off, which kind of stings, and my husband is talking about inviting a third party into this situation to help us recoup our savings funds.
I pray this has all been a big misunderstanding and that you have been delayed in reimbursing us for some other reason...please contact me as soon as you can. I have told my husband that I'm sure this is all an honest mistake and to hold off, which he has agreed to for now.
I look forward to speaking with you as soon as is possible,
Mother in laws cell:
Grocery store where I shop:
^as in, please put all of your contact information on there, so that the old "I tried her cell but could never get her" excuse can't be whipped out. Give her every tool she needs to make every attempt possible to reach you.
I'm really sorry this is happening. It really sucks that you would have such a great experience and then turn around and be put in a scenario where you have to get a little aggressive in advocating for yourself with someone you really would rather honor, appreciate and respect for the good work she did....I mean, we all want to praise and recommend a good midwife....but how are you supposed to recommend someone who would behave like this? It's just a shame.
Good luck. This definitely stinks.
Thank you. Good ideas/good way to go about it.
In situations like this one I tend to find that a quick note that basically says "I really like you and I don't understand why you're being such a jerk, I hope it's an honest mistake, because I'd sure hate to have to treat you like a scumbag" - usually works. Even if the person FEELS like a scumbag and gets all defensive, you still usually get what it is that is rightfully yours and can walk away, if not puzzled, "whole".
Good luck. A true bummer. Wouldn't it be nice if all midwives could be the mythical goddesses of truth and light that we want to believe they are in their hearts? Yeah...but they are people. Just like plumbers and cops and donut makers and everyone in between. Some of them are great people, some of them make lousy people....either way, they can be great or crappy at their job. Some of the nicest, most competent midwives I've ever known have been CRAZY FLAKY people in general. What are you gonna do??! :)
Just want to update she finally just called to let me know when the check will be coming (reading the threads on Mothering?) I'm going to assume it was coincidence. Yay for happy endings and the end of the pit that's been in my stomach for the last month!
And again thank you, BroodyWoodsgal, for the support!
Update: she didn't come through when she said she would :0(
Here we go...
So glad this worked out! YAY!
Did you finally get your money back?
i love the quick note. great idea!
did you ever send a note?
Sorry to leave anyone hanging :)
We got some money back finally.
Our only disappointment (besides the fact that I felt like I really had to keep pushing my midwife to send the check) was the amount that came back. We got back a little over half of what was taken from our HSA. Remember, this was our own HSA money that we needed to put back into the HSA, not money coming from insurance. Plus, the insurance sent her $5 to give us. Yes, five dollars. I don't know why.
I wish my midwife had made it clear the percentage she and the billing company both would take out. I wish I had thought to ask. Had I known I would not have even billed. When we finally got the check in the mail we were shocked and then just done with it.
So, we were relieved to be done, but still disappointed in the overall outcome.
How incredibly crappy. I am so sorry. :(
Thanks for your update. Sorry to hear the outcome, though.
I'm confused... How much was taken from your health spending account and sent to the midwife?