Not everyone has the strength to challenge the corporate healthcare system and fight for their rights. But guess what, the few people who do are hardly appreciated!
A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for how I fought my boyfriend’s medical bill, going ‘too far’?”. We need you to find out.
The Original Poster’s (OP’s) boyfriend had to go to the ER after an accident, and he got a truly ridiculous bill back. OP offered to fight the bill for him because she’d done it before, and he said sure.
“I went all-out, because honestly if we were out 5 grand, after insurance, that would screw up our holiday plans pretty bad.”, says OP.
How Did OP Fight The Ridiculous Bill
So here are a few things OP did:
– made her boyfriend call the hospital and authorize OP to handle his bill and access his medical records.
– got an itemized bill and compared the prices for each code to the fair prices.
– called billing to dispute the bill, but was told that billing only collects bills, and she’d need to contact admin to dispute.
– bounced around a call center for hours trying to get someone who was actually qualified for bill disputes, and getting nowhere.
– Google and LinkedIn searched for the hospital board of directors and upper management.
– got 30 email IDs of the most influential people at the hospital, plus the hospital’s investors.
– every day would send a few emails, working her way up the chain, and writing an (increasingly long) email describing how they billed her “client” at 7 times over the fair price for services rendered, and how their billing department, customer service department, and the growing list of management she’d emailed, had failed to address the issue.
– escalated the emails until she was writing the director-level staff with the entire board of directors and a number of outside investors CC’d, asking for a written statement regarding their justification for billing at a rate 7 times higher than the national average, for commensurate services to what is available at other hospitals. And sternly laying out the failures to appropriately respond, at every level of the company.
They Eventually Gave In AND HOW
Well, once OP had done all that (which she says was honestly only like 15 minutes a day), they reduced the bill…From $5000 to $26. Yep, twenty-six dollars!
Boyfriend’s Immediate Reaction to the Good News
OP told her boyfriend the good news, and he was at first overjoyed and blown away, like literally jumping up and down and hugging her and saying she was literally a Christmas miracle.
Joy Turns Into Stress
But then when OP’s boyfriend asked how OP did it, she said it wasn’t too hard, she just had to send a couple of emails each day. He was curious about what OP had said, and she handed him her phone.
He started to get stressed and flipped back through other emails. There were like 60 of them.
What Did He Tell Her
OP’s boyfriend told her she went way too far, he was expecting her to dispute through their billing department or something normal and reasonable like that, not to internet stalk every single manager and board member and investor and harass them into dropping the bill.
The Final Fuss
OP was frustrated because she’d just saved them 5 grand, actually made it possible for them to afford a nice Christmas and save some money, and he was mad at her because she’d been a bit of a harasser.
“I was furious, and he was also mad at me, saying he authorized me to dispute a bill, not basically threaten and harass a whole hospital for weeks. Am I a jerk for how I got my boyfriend’s medical bills dropped?”, asks OP.
You Are No Less Than A Rockstar!
“You are a rock star and should be a professional advocate for those who get ripped off in healthcare like this. Your boyfriend is so unappreciative and is clearly clueless about how diligent you need to be to challenge an erroneous bill.
When the hospital, doctors, and insurance companies are unwilling to help you resolve their errors, what else are you supposed to do? So many people just quit and either pay the massive bill or go into debt. Tell your boyfriend this is the only Christmas gift you’re giving him. Clearly not the jerk.”
Your Boyfriend Sounds Ungrateful
“Not the jerk. Your boyfriend is ungrateful and you should seriously consider going into politics. The world needs tough people like you, who are not afraid to step on the toes of powerful people for the good of the common man.”
What You Did Was Freaking Awesome!
“Not the jerk – Corporate healthcare is designed to rob the patient and make billing dispute resolution processes difficult. You offered, he accepted, and you succeeded. If he’s going to get mad at you about your impressive tenacity, he doesn’t deserve access to it and should learn how to handle his own problems.
Either he wants to pay 7x value, or he likes what you did. It’s worth noting that you not only saved the holiday; you saved his credit score, too. Next time, he can pay the entire bill or take the hit to his credit score instead of having your help.”
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