A woman racked up a $50,000 bill after being taken to the wrong hospital for her insurance. The woman, Megan Rothbauer, was sent to the emergency room at St. Mary’s Hospital, rather than the Meriter Hospital that was covered by her Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance after suffering an injury in the workplace. The trip was just three blocks away and would have cost just $1,500 maximum instead of the gigantic $50,000 bill that she’s currently facing.
Megan Rothbauer, a project manager for a manufacturing company, stated that she was unconscious throughout the trip to the hospital.
She said, “I was unconscious when I was taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, I was taken to the wrong hospital for my insurance.”
“I was in a coma. I couldn’t very well wake up and say, ‘Hey, take me to the next hospital.’ It was the closet hospital to where I had my event, so naturally the ambulance took me there. No fault to them. It’s unfortunate that Meriter is in network and was only three blocks away from St. Mary’s.”
An investigation, done by News3, reported that the incident is called “balance billing.” The report says that it is a common case where patients receive the monetary balance from the hospital charge versus that which the insurance companies will pay for.
The report stated that companies may provide patients out of the insurance network with in-network payment rates for emergency room visits if they have an approved insurance like Blue Cross Blue Shield. However, it is not ensured that patients will then be free from expensive bills following any necessary treatment.
This isn’t the first story where a woman faced unfair hospital bills. The Inquisitr ran a story where rape victims were forced to pay for hospital visit.
Megan was supposed to be planning an upcoming engagement, however, she and her fiancé, Ben Johnsen, are holding off getting engaged until her economic situation has more clarity.
The couple need to get second jobs, cash out retirement accounts, take a loan from the hospital, or file for bankruptcy.
“It’s devastating for people who plan, who get insurance, get coverage, do everything they can and then, at 29, have a heart attack and get taken to the wrong hospital, and can’t get married, can’t do anything because they have to declare bankruptcy because they can’t afford to have gone to the hospital,” she said.
“I mean, it’s not enough to worry about having a heart attack at 29, you end up with a secondary one or a stroke because of your medical bills. I mean, it’s just ridiculous. The level of frustration is astronomical.”