Holidays

Share the Season: Last year’s medical bills become this year’s problem for woman

Share the Season is an annual campaign that offers one-time aid to people affected by unforeseen hardships. The people are not identified to protect their privacy.

She thought she was prepared to handle the medical bills. After all, she had regularly contributed to her health insurance’s flexible spending account.

But when she tried to pull some money out of her flex account in 2015 to pay her costs for a surgery performed in 2014, the insurance company denied the request. She was told she had to take money out in 2014 to pay for 2014 expenses.

The bills for the 2014 surgery didn’t come until 2015, she said. Some bills didn’t come until as late as October of this year.

“Very frustrating,” said the 34-year-old single woman. “The providers say it was the insurance company’s fault that I didn’t get the bills until 2015, and the insurance company says it was the fault of the providers.”

Regardless, she’s caught in the middle.

And now she owes hundreds in medical expenses and has fallen behind in other bills while trying to pay off other medical bills.

“If Share the Season was to offer a gift to me so these medical bills could be paid off,” she wrote in her application, “it would allow me to use that money to put toward (other) bills.”

Share the Season is a joint project of The Eagle, the Wichita Community Foundation and the Salvation Army.

So far this season, it has raised $131,226.

Send contributions to Share the Season at the Wichita Community Foundation, 301 N. Main, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67202. To donate online, go to www.sharetheseason.org. If you have questions about donating, call 316-264-4880.

Donors will be listed in The Eagle; please note if you prefer to remain anonymous.

To apply for help, fill out an application atwww.sharetheseason.org or pick one up at the Salvation Army, 350 N. Market. The application deadline is Dec. 20. For more information, call 316-263-2769.

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