Category Archives: On a Personal Note

On a Personal Note

Hi from the AMTA Convention in Seattle

Published by:

I’m in Seattle where I’ll be speaking for the next few days at the Washington State American Massage Therapy Association’s Annual Convention.

I can tell I am in Seattle because, whereas hotels in most cities offer robes in the room, in Seattle you get….. an umbrella!

Umberalla.jpg

More convention updates to come.

Greetings From Annapolis

Published by:

After writing on this site regularly for 2 years I took a forced break this summer. Firstly because I moved across the country from Bellingham, Washington to Annapolis, Maryland.

Secondly it took Verizon months to get my internet service up and running (I kid you not).

But I’m so glad to be back, and look forward to continuing to support you as you build and grow your massage practice.

To your success,

Elizabeth

PS Watch out for more Massage Success Radio shows coming soon.

eliz_mic_edit.jpg

Don’t let this happen to you

Published by:

Sickgirl.jpg
I’ve learned a lot about health insurance these last few months as I battle it out with my health insurance company.

As many massage therapists also have to take care of their own health insurance and that of their families, I feel compelled to pass on what I have learned, so that what happened to me does not happen to you too.

Prior to my husband Francis’s surgeries to fix a torn meniscus and repair a bilateral hernia that happened as a result of an accident, I called my insurance company to find out what they would cover. I was told they would cover 100% of what was usual and customary (U&C).

I questioned them pretty extensively about how they came up with these U&C amounts, but they assured me that we had nothing to worry about. They also told me that we had a great policy because we were not limited to any network and Francis could go to any doctors he wanted.

So I felt pretty confident that after our $2500 deductible our bills would be paid and so Francis went ahead with the surgeries.

A few weeks later the bills stared pouring in. Here is what happened.

1. Even although the surgeries were the result of one accident we were charged three deductibles totaling $7500 (one for his knee and one for his hip and one for the hernia (even although the hip pain was the result of the inguinal hernia). Our deductible is per occurrence and not annually and it is up to us to prove to them that the injuries are related to the same accident (even although all the doctor’s notes support this!)

2. The U&C rates that they actually paid out were in most cases 1/3 or less of each bill (after our deductible of course).

3. Even although they told us before hand that he could have all the surgeries done at the same time (which cost them only one hospital bill and not three) after the fact they said it was not usual and customary to have them done on the same day and disallowed most of the charges.

4. Because our policy is not part of any network we have ZERO protection and the doctors and hospital offer ZERO discount on the bills so we are responsible for 100% of what the insurance doesn’t pay. Which is about $20,000.

So here is what I have learned:

1. When you are part of a network, even although you are limited to which doctors you can see (often ones employed by the health insurance company) at least you have some protection from escalating bills.

2. Watch these U&C rates! Unfortunately the amounts that your insurance company actually pays out for each service is developed by a proprietary formula unique to each company and they are NOT required to disclose how they come up with the formula.

So you may think you have a great policy because it pays out at 100%. But in fact a policy that pays out at 80% may actually have more realistic U&C rates and therefore be a better policy.

3. Watch these “per occurrence” deductibles. You are better of with a clear cut annual deductible.

4. Keep great notes of every conversation you have with your insurance company. (In fact I started recording mine – with permission of course) including who you spoke to, when, and what they said. This will become invaluable if you run into problems.

I do intent on fighting this and will keep you posted. Meanwhile does anyone have a great health insurance policy out there? I’m looking for a new one!

Sicko for Sure

Published by:

sicko badge
I know that a lot of massage therapists, myself included have had our share of challenges (and some pleasant surprises) in dealing with our client’s health insurance companies.

I have also been dealing with my own personal insurance nightmare the past few months.

Like many of you my husband Francis and I are self-employed therapists and have private health insurance which we pay for dearly ($914 a month for the two of us for a policy with a $2500 deductible). In over 10 years we have never needed to use our major medical (thank goodness!) until Francis had an accident and needed surgery last December.

Despite having a policy that is supposed to pay 100% after the deductible has been met we are now stuck with about $20,000 in medical bills (which is growing each month because of interest fees). Now that is Sicko!

So I am particularly interested in Michael Moore’s new movie dealing with the subject.

As I am currently traveling across the country from Bellingham, Washington to Annapolis, Maryland I have not had a chance to see it yet.

Have you?

Have Fun, Make Money, Do Good!

Published by:

Elizabeth Fletcher Brown at Podcast Summit
 

My friend, Shawn (left) and I at the Fun Money Good Podcast Summit
I just returned from Chico, California. I was there for a blogging and podcasting seminar facilitated by Jody Colvard and Declan Dunn of the Fun Money Good Network (for folks who want to have fun and make money, while doing good in the world).

I met some wonderful and talented people there, and plan on sharing their expertise with you by interviewing some of them for Massage Success Radio.

I also learned lots about blogging and podcasting, so that I can continue to bring you the best resources to help you build your massage business.

And I had lots of fun…

The Season of Reflection

Published by:

snow2.jpg

I was reading an email newsletter from a colleague I very much admire yesterday and was surprised to discover that he was in a place of really questioning the direction of his business. And here I thought that he of all people really had his s_ _ t together.

It gave me permission to realize that I am in a similar place. I have just had a very busy spell, with my nose really IN my business; in all the day-to-day activities essential to keep moving forward. Or so I thought. But have I wandered off course? Is my “course” still one that really matters to me? One that feeds my soul?

Today as I sit captive in my home office, with a foot-and-a-half of snow around my house and sub zero temperatures outside, there is nowhere to go.

Sure, with primarily an internet and phone based business I could go full steam ahead. But I don’t feel like it. Instead I am being called inward. I want to use this time to reflect on my personal and professional life, on my values and life direction, and to think about what I want to accomplish in 2007.

Yes, for me it is the Season of Reflection. What about you?

The Disappearing Blogist!

Published by:

Oh my goodness! First my laptop died on a trip. Talk about losing a good friend. Then I had to buy and configure the new one and switch all my programs over. Yuck! Even networking it to my main computer, it’s still a PAIN! If anyone has figured a way to do it easily, do let me know.

Then I took a trip with my husband to a remote little beach cabin, where there was supposedly a good wireless connection. Well, it turned out that I had to climb over the rocks to the next cabin down the beach (between the full moon, and a big storm, the tide was so high there was no beach to walk on), then hang off the edge of their deck in the rain and wind (no one was there – who besides us would stay at a beach cabin in a storm), to get the promised connection to the rest of the world. Needles to say, I got sick and spent our “vacation” feeling pretty miserable.

But now life is good. I’m at a conference in Scottsdale, AZ, it is 85 and sunny, my new laptop has become my newest best friend, and the wireless connection is sweet. All is well with the world. I’m back….

Sicko for Sure

Published by:

sicko badge
I know that a lot of massage therapists, myself included have had our share of challenges (and some pleasant surprises) in dealing with our client’s health insurance companies.

I have also been dealing with my own personal insurance nightmare the past few months.

Like many of you my husband Francis and I are self-employed therapists and have private health insurance which we pay for dearly ($914 a month for the two of us for a policy with a $2500 deductible). In over 10 years we have never needed to use our major medical (thank goodness!) until Francis had an accident and needed surgery last December.

Despite having a policy that is supposed to pay 100% after the deductible has been met we are now stuck with about $20,000 in medical bills (which is growing each month because of interest fees). Now that is Sicko!

So I am particularly interested in Michael Moore’s new movie dealing with the subject.

As I am currently traveling across the country from Bellingham, Washington to Annapolis, Maryland I have not had a chance to see it yet.

Have you?

Do you like our new look?

Published by:

I’ve been working to switch servers for my blog, and in the meantime held off on adding new posts. But the switch is finally made and we are now thrilled to be part of the Fun, Money, Good Network.

Soooooo, how do you like the new look?

We will also soon be launching our online radio show, Massage Success Radio. So do check back often or subscribe to our “feeds” so that you don’t miss out.