Two pieces of bad news in the mail today

Just when I thought everything was getting back on track, financially speaking, two thin little envelopes show up in the mail that seem to be reversing that trend:

1) A letter from a collection agency regarding an ER visit from back in 2016. This is the first I’ve seen regarding a debt from this hospital. I know that there was supposed to be a co-pay, and I gave them all of my financial information at the time of service (the stupid person taking that information refused to turn off or even adjust the light on her mobile workstation when I was in a darkened room being treated for a massive migraine). At no point did I ever receive a bill or statement of account, just this collection letter. It doesn’t surprise me that I may owe some money on this, but the amount seems to be triple what was expected. And this kind of financial uncertainty is one of those reasons I rarely go to the doctor, even though I know I should. Why does this have to be so difficult?


2) A statement from the city of St. Louis for back taxes from 2012. If you live or work in the city of St Louis there is an additional 1% income tax. I didn’t start with my then-employer until August 2012, and I didn’t leave California to relocate to STL until late September of that year. The money was taken out of my checks and reported on my taxes. I sent them all of this information years ago, but now I’m going to have to dig through boxes of crap (and old tax records on an old computer - I hope I remember the password!) to find it again and send it to them. Again.

3) While we’re at it, I still owe the damn state of Missouri. in 2014 Citibank forgave some debt that was 15+ years old, and that joyfully got reported to the state and feds as income. I’ve taken care of the feds, but now the state wants their cut. Hopefully my state tax refund will be the same amount so they can just confiscate that and be done with it.

I want to file my taxes, but my W2 hasn’t arrived (or more precisely, been made available on my employer’s website). Any day now. I guess I’ll spend the weekend digging through boxes of financial records and then searching for who to contact for a statement of account regarding that medical bill. I’m sure the debt collector won’t have it, and I question whether the hospital will be willing to provide it considering that they sold the debt. Any words of advice?

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