This Woman Got A $5,000 ER Bill, Without Even Seeing A Doctor
When Jessica Pell fainted and injured her ear, she did what most people would do: take a trip to the Emergency Room. However as most everyone knows, a trip to the ER can usually be pretty costly. And most insurance will not cover the entire cost. Vox has been reaching out to people who have received insane bills for little or no work having been done, and the result is crazier than you would think.
It is well known that just walking into the ER in the U.S. can rack up a costly bill that many people cannot afford. But when Pell entered Hoboken University Medical Center, she kept this in mind -- asking everyone around her if they were in her network, specifically to avoid exorbitant costs she knew she could not afford.
“I was triaged, waited and taken to have myself examined,” Pell wrote in her letter to appeal the bill. “I specifically asked on multiple occasions, before anyone touched me, ‘are you out of network? If you are, I decline medical attention.’ I received an icepack and ace bandage and left to seek in-network medical assistance.”
Despite only being given an ice pack no other treatment, Pell still received a bill for $5,751.
“It’s for the ice pack and the bandage,” Pell said of the fee. “That is the only tangible thing they could bill me for.I decided to decline treatment because I can’t really afford any surprise bills right now,” she said. “The bill I’d probably incur would not be worth saving my ear, which was sad but a choice I had to make.”
The Hospital originally declined to discuss Pell's health bill.... until Vox began looking into the matter.
“While we cannot comment on rates for emergency room services, we are reaching out directly to the patient to work on a settlement/resolution to her satisfaction,” said a spokesperson for the hospital.
After the inquiries from Vox, the hospital decided to drop all charges and even reimburse Pell for the co-payment she made that day.
Pell was lucky that day, but unfortunately, there are far too many stories without similar endings. Many families go into debt because of hospital bills, and in some cases, people can even becoming homeless.
If you or someone you know have a similar story, feel free to share in the comments below.