TIME features your surprise medical bill stories

Daniela Nuñez
Social Media Program Manager

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

In the fight to end surprise medical bills, we’re up against powerful special interests with deep pockets and lots of lobbyists. That’s why it’s so important that your true stories of outrageous medical bills get the attention they deserve in the press so lawmakers make solving it a priority. This month, your campaign to end surprise medical bills got a big boost, this time from TIME. It’s on the newsstands now, and if you subscribe to TIME, then you can read it online here. You can read the excellent Cliff Note’s version for free here. They featured two End Surprise Medical Bill story sharers: Danny Postell from Woodstock, Georgia and Elaine Hightower from Roswell, Georgia who gave us a personal glimpse into the hardship of surprise medical bills.

Danny’s son Luke was born at an in-network hospital three weeks before his due date, and needed hospital ICU care. Like any reasonable person, he expected his baby’s visit to be covered by his health insurance plan. When the bills started rolling in, he discovered that even though the hospital was considered in-network, the neonatal ICU within the facility was not. The Postells were held responsible for thousands in surprise out-of-network bills.

In Elaine’s situation, she needed surgery and prior to that, she verified that the physician and the surgical facility were in-network, but was later billed thousands in out-of-network costs for the anesthesiologist and the medical implant used in her surgery!

Stories like these illustrate why we are working to pass laws protecting you from unfair surprise medical bills. In Georgia alone, forty one percent of privately insured Georgia residents received a surprise medical bill where their health plan paid less than expected in the past two years, according to a recent Consumer Reports survey. Of those that received a surprise medical bill, 11 percent were charged at an out‐of‐network rate when they thought a provider was in‐network.

Check out our map to find out what lawmakers are doing to fix the loopholes in your state that leave you stuck with surprise bills. We can’t win this fight alone – your stories are helping us build up momentum.

If you have a story about a surprise medical bill, please share it and help us fight for change.

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