Mike Skogmo has recovered from the snowboarding accident that broke three vertebrae and lacerated his liver. But it's taking longer to fix his insurance mess.
The Buffalo Grove native, featured in the Nov. 11 column, was injured Christmas Day 2010 while hurtling down the slopes at Big Bear ski resort in Southern California.
The accident left him with a painful recovery and an equally painful hospital bill.
Because of a mistake by his insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, the California hospital where he was initially treated was paid only a fraction of the total.
That left Skogmo responsible for $17,244.92 after he had paid his deductible and copays, a sum he could barely fathom.
After going back and forth with Blue Cross, Skogmo emailed What's Your Problem?
After the Problem Solver inquired about the case, a Blue Cross spokeswoman agreed the insurance company had committed an error, and it promised to pay Skogmo's outstanding hospital bill.
A short time after the column ran, Skogmo received a letter saying the $17,244.92 had been paid.
But there was more.
"Amazingly, they returned a fraction of the money spent on the deductible and associated costs," Skogmo said in an email.
He was elated when he got a check from Blue Cross for $1,000.
Skogmo said resolution of the hospital bill is an enormous relief.
"Having to pay $17,000 plus interest, on top of my already sizable student loan debt, would have been a heavy and oppressive lifelong burden," he said.
More good news
Trouble was, it was unclear how much she would receive, or when, and in what form.
Her daughter, Ellen Siciliano, tried contacting the state of Illinois but could not get through.
Although the letter Loebe received from the state Department of Human Services said that she was eligible for aid starting in May, Loebe had not received a dime.
A spokeswoman for the state told the Problem Solver that Loebe would start seeing a larger Social Security check in December.
The spokeswoman also said Loebe would receive a refund for three months of her Medicare premium, or $300.