Here are my Two Cents

On my desk at home sits a container.  Inside this container sites various handfuls of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.  I call it an adult piggy bank as it serves the same purpose as a ceramic swine.  (I never had a piggy bank growing up.  I still managed to learn how to save my money (which is the point of a piggy bank) but I always wanted to break the ceramic pig with a hammer and see change fall everywhere.  Maybe I will go buy one.)

When the container is full I take it to the bank and sort my change for what usually totals well over $100.  By the time you add up that much change dollar bills turn to fives turn to tens and you get the picture.  It is inspirational and mainly the reason why I pick up change when I see it on the street.  Those dirty little pieces of metal add up.

But recently a man, we will call him “Pete”, went to the doctor.  (I bet you are wondering what Pete’s trip to the doctor has to do with coins.)  He goes in, gets his check up, and heads home.  Months later he gets a bill and even months after that he pays the bill.  He is one day late on paying the bill.  Of course, that is no big deal, these hospitals and doctors just want their money, they do not care how they get it.  But a few weeks later he realized that maybe this particular doctor in fact did want his money on time.  Either that or this doctor is saving for his next vacation.  Pete got a second bill in themail for the grand total of $0.04.

Pete found this to be funny at first.  But when he began to receive phone calls and notices in the mail from a collections agency he began to take this a little more serious.  That in itself is a blog post.  This collection company is being paid by the doctor to collect on a late payment.  So the collection agency puts man hours and supplies into sending the notices.  The notices came in a regular envelopes, according to Pete, which suggests a 40 cent mailing cost + paper + envelope.  Times that by the four notice that they sent and you have way more than the amount they were collecting in the first place.

The funniest part of this is that the notices stated that if Pete were to take immediate action, the debt would be reduced to 50% If he respond in time!

I have a hard time believing that there is not a cut off, from the doctors or even the collection agency, that they will not “go after” in a case like this.  I mean, the amount of time, effort, and money that went into it had to cost so much more than the total (obviously) and even more than the principle of the situation.  I can not remember the last time I went to the doctor and there were not sports cars in the parking lot, pictures of his kids and wife on a remote beach somewhere, and a Rolex on his wrist.  Doctors are not loosing money and they are not affected by this government forced recession.  So why are they taking so much effort to prove a point?

Did you know if you take a penny and double it every day for a month you would be a millionaire?  Pull out a calculator and figure it out.  You will be shocked with the number you see.  10 points to the first person to comment the exact amount you would have.