A woman in Florida is raising awareness about hospital billing after she received a bill for more than $550,000 after the birth of her son.
A woman in Florida is sounding the alarm over hospital billing issues and health insurance after she received a bill for more than half a million dollars for the birth of her son. She received the astronomically high bill despite having health insurance. The problem, she claims, was that she “switched health insurance plans while her newborn was in intensive care, and she says that led to major confusion over billing.”
Shortly after the birth, first-time mom Bisi Bennett said she was terrified for her son’s health because he was “born prematurely in November 2020 and rushed to the NICU.” She said, “I didn’t even know if he was born alive and if he was stillborn…So I’m crying and very upset that I don’t know he’s going to make it at that point.”
At the end of the day, her son, Dorian, spent about two months in the hospital until he was deemed “healthy enough to go home.” That’s when the financial problems began. One day, Bennett got the bill from the hospital “for more than $550,000.” She said, “I was very upset when I saw the half-a-million-dollar bill because I felt like I done everything in my power to avoid them sending me that huge bill.”
Before the birth of her son, she spent time picking out a hospital that was “in-network for her United Healthcare insurance…But in January 2021, while her son was still in the NICU – her employer changed health plans to UMR.” So how did that result in such a high bill? Well, “instead of billing United Healthcare for 2020 and UMR for 2021, the hospital billed both policies for both years.” Unfortunately, “neither would cover the bill because of the administrative error,” resulting in the high bill for Bennett.
She said, “I called the hospital several times just to let them know, ‘Hey, you guys are lumping the bill together, you need to split it out.’” Despite Bennett’s calls, the hospital sent another bill. This time with a “payment plan of nearly $46,000 a month.” Bennett said the proposed payment plan is ridiculous and added, “I don’t have $46,000 to pay a month.” She stated:
“I was scared that I was going to end up in collections…I hope that by doing this story, that they would really think about just health care from a holistic standpoint. Health is not just when you’re in the hospital…It also has to do with how you treat someone after they’ve been discharged from the hospital.”
It’s important to note that since raising awareness over the matter, the bill was eventually revised by the Advent Health Orlando Hospital to $300 total. United Healthcare also revised their chunk of the bill and paid it. While commenting on the matter, the hospital said:
“We apologize for the frustration this caused…For future patients like Ms. Bennett, who may experience a change in insurance during their treatment, this case has allowed us to identify opportunities within our system to improve the billing and communications process.”