Hi there! I am so glad you have decided to take the time to read this blog as I am super passionate about what I am about to share with you. I hope that you take the time to read the entire post, and even share it with others as I am hopeful that I am able to help someone else.
To set the scene, I had surgery on February 18th, 2019. This was an outpatient surgery where I only spent a few hours at the hospital (but still recovering from the surgery 5 months later!!). I will not name anyone, any hospital, or any insurance company in this post.
To go back to January 2019 - a month before surgery, I received a letter from my insurance company that stated that they will cover my procedure, my surgeon, as well as the hospital. This was great and the surgeon had scheduled my surgery and we were good to go! Two business days before my surgery, a gentlemen from the hospital called me and did a pre-registration. He verified my insurance and told me what my balance was going to be. At that moment I let him know that I will pay the balance in person on the actual surgery day and he said that that was totally fine.
I check in for surgery at 5:30am on surgery day. The woman at the desk checks me in, verifies my insurance and takes a payment from me while telling me my balance. I agreed to pay half of it so I could see if insurance would end up covering more. She was totally fine with that.
March 16th: my surgery just finally got processed from the hospital. By this time I have already paid my surgeon and anesthesiologist with no complications.
April: I receive a bill in the mail that states that I owe $22,000 to the hospital that I had my surgery at. I immediately thought that it was a mistake and called the hospital. What I thought would be an easy fix, lasted months and months of fighting my case.
It ends up that the hospital that I went to, was out of network with my insurance. UHM WHAT? I received a letter stated that I was covered? I had two people register me and confirm my insurance and tell me my balance (which was a balance that was reasonable and expected for this type of surgery). I can’t tell you all how many people I spoke to from insurance and that hospital. No one would help me. They spoke in circles. I kept every document that was ever sent to me confirming everything, insurance pay per work etc and sent it to everyone to review. No one was able to do anything. Someone even told me what was “reasonable and customary” which I stated I would pay right now to get this over with and they said no. Some of these people were so nice and caring and helpful, but didn’t have the power to change what had been done. Some, not so much.
You guys I cannot explain how stressful this was. As a young adult, I owed a hospital $22,000?! I received a letter that stated I was covered?! I would have never stepped foot into a hospital if I was out of network. No one in their right mind would?!
After months and months of fighting, I finally found an amazing contact who was high up in the hospital. They took the time to actually hear me and listen. He understood how unfair this was and he ended up lowering my amount due to less then $3,000. I literally fell to my knees crying in happiness. I could not believe that this had finally happened and can be done and over with. I immediately paid the bill and have a $0 balance! I’m still in shock that after months of fighting that this finally happened.
Y’all please learn from me. Even thought you get letters from doctors, insurance, hospitals - whoever - please make sure that you are doing YOUR OWN research. I don’t wish this amount of stress and hurt on anybody. I am so thankful for my family and Landon’s family for supporting me in this fight for so long. Just know that you cannot give up! Fight for the truth and for what is right!