Many people enjoy surprises during the Christmas season — but not the kind Debbie Fulbright got last December.
Fulbright was carrying a large box of wrapping paper down her basement stairs on Christmas Eve but missed the first step. She tumbled head over heels down 15 stairs to land on the concrete floor, unconscious.
Fortunately, her husband — a firefighter and certified emergency management technician — was home and got immediate help. Fulbright spent Christmas week in the hospital with a concussion, fractured skull, fractured shoulder, dislocated finger, deep lacerations on two fingers requiring sutures, and severe bruising and scrapes on her shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.
Also working in her favor: Fulbright had signed up for accident and short-term disability insurance from Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company when she was hired at a Charlotte-area manufacturing company almost five years ago.
Her company also provides health insurance, but “because of when the accident happened, I had to meet my deductible and out-of-pocket maximum for 2018, then start all over again in 2019,” Fulbright says. “My hospital bills were over $30,000, and then there were follow-up MRIs and physical therapy. I’m seeing three different doctors and a physical therapist, and every time it’s another copay.”
Fulbright missed seven weeks of work, but despite those bill and copays, she says she wasn’t financially stressed. “I had a sense of relief and calmness knowing I had disability coverage. I knew Colonial Life would help with those bills, so I could concentrate on my recovery and therapy. Colonial Life covered all of my out-of-pocket expenses.”
Her ordeal isn’t over yet. Fulbright still suffers neck pain, stiffness and spasms, and doctors tell her it’ll take at least nine months for her to regain full dexterity in her hand. But at least financially, she says she’s sound.
“Medical bankruptcy is a real problem,” she says. “With these policies you don’t have to worry about that. You may never need them, but that one time you do … knowing the coverage is there and what it’s done for me, I’ll always keep them.”