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Mum Received 'Ridiculous' £414,000 Bill For Premature Baby's Birth

Jess Hardiman

Published 
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Mum Received 'Ridiculous' £414,000 Bill For Premature Baby's Birth

A woman in the US was shocked to receive a bill of $550,000 (£414,000) after giving birth to her son prematurely – despite the fact she had health insurance. 

Bisi Bennett, 38, picked a hospital that was in-network for her United Healthcare insurance when she gave birth to her son Dorian, who was born prematurely in November 2020.  

He was born breech – meaning his head came out last – and wasn’t crying at first  

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS

Bennett told NPR: “They cut the cord, and the last thing I heard was ‘he has a pulse’ before they wheeled me away.

"I just cried tears of relief."

However, she had to switch insurance plans while her newborn was in intensive care, which she says led to major confusion. 

In January 2021, when Dorian was still in the intensive care unit, her employer changed health plans to UMR.  

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS

Instead of billing United Healthcare for the treatment in 2020, and UMR for the treatment in 2021, the hospital billed both policies for both years.

Both refused to pay – meaning Bennett was landed with a payment of more than $550,000. 

Speaking to CBS Mornings, Bennett 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." 

She added: "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.’” 

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS

But despite her numerous calls, the hospital sent the same bill again - with details of a payment plan of nearly $46,000 (£34,000) a month, which Bennett said was ‘ridiculous’. 

“I don't have $46,000 to pay a month," she said. 

"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." 

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS

Eventually, after being contacted by Kaiser Health News in October, the Advent Health Orlando Hospital revised the bill, updating it to a total of $300 (£225). 

In a statement, United Healthcare said it did not receive the 2020 portion of the hospital bill until autumn this year, and it has since paid it.  

The hospital said in a statement: "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." 

 

Featured Image Credit: CBS

Topics: US News

Jess Hardiman
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