WINTERS (CBS) – When Taylor Rippee wrapped her car around a tree in the Capay Valley, she was raced to the closest emergency room with a broken leg.
The 17-year-old had insurance, but her family ended up receiving a $31,000 bill by mistake. That bill could put the family in financial ruin.
“We have medical coverage,” Taylor’s mother Michelle said. “I pay for medical coverage for a reason; so that my family’s taken care of.”
Victor Echeverria is the founder of Northern California startup Remedy https://www.tryremedy.com/. He says 60% of the medical bills his company looks at have errors.
“When it comes to industries, health care is as bad as you get,” Echeverria said. “We’ve seen men billed for pregnancy tests. We’ve seen people getting billed for surgeries that haven’t happen.”
He also says insurance companies are overpaying medical bills, too. In most cases, he thinks these are honest mistakes in a complex billing system. He says the average family overpays medical bills by about a thousand dollars each year.
“Everything from as simple as ‘you misspelled my name when filing an insurance claim’, to something really hard to detect- like a non-billable code. Most people don’t even know what that means.”
Remedy has crunched those confusing codes. You take a picture or upload your bill and, free of charge, the company will scan it for mistakes. They then work to get it fixed for you. You pay 20% of the amount they saved you, capped at $99. If they don’t find any errors, you pay nothing.
The company says it will not share your medical information.
After we got involved, Taylor Rippee’s bill was reduced, allowing her to focus on her recovery instead of a giant bill.
“When you increase accountability in this industry, I think it will get better very quickly, Echeverria said.”