‘Anthony,’ our client’s father, was visiting from outside the US and obtained travel insurance as a precaution. After 3 days of dizziness and no appetite, they went to the ER and were promptly admitted to the ICU for 5 days. Thankfully, from a health perspective, ‘Anthony’s’ condition stabilized and he was able to return home.
‘Lucas’ (our client), however, contacted us after receiving a hospital bill of over $23,000. While he was aware the debt was technically his father’s, he did feel personally responsible for it. He was overwhelmed by the amount and confused as to why his father’s travel insurance refused to cover it. Our student advocate explained to him his father’s right to appeal and then assisted in drafting an appeal, including letters of support from physicians who cared for his father in the ICU.
The appeal was unfortunately denied on the grounds that his father had a pre-existing condition. The hospital initially informed us that they could not offer any financial assistance on the bill as an individual must be an uninsured resident to receive financial assistance, and his father met neither qualification.
‘Lucas’ was eager to address the bill as he was starting to receive collection notices. He was prepared to set up a payment plan with the hospital for the entire amount. Our student advocate, however, persuaded him to hold off as she repeatedly reached out to the hospital’s billing department. She was able to negotiate the bill down from $23,000+ to $6700. While still a large amount, ‘Lucas’ was beyond grateful to have the bill significantly reduced and have an additional 24 months to make payments.