FAIR OAKS (CBS13) – A dog bite while out of town forced a family to go to an urgent care doctor. When they got an out-of-network bill, it was time to call Kurtis.
During the family trip to Los Angeles, parents Katie and Dan Moraida rushed their four-year-old daughter Monroe to the doctor after she was bitten in the face by a family member’s Cocker Spaniel.
The Moraida’s quickly went online to find a doctor in their network, but weeks after the visit a $250 out-of-network bill showed up.
Dan shows us how his insurance company’s website shows both the clinic and the doctor who treated Monroe are in-network.
But his insurer wouldn’t cover the bill.
“I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. This is insane,” said Dan, “This has been an absolute nightmare.”
Consumers Union Betsy Imholz says one out of three of us will get a surprise medical bill at some point in our lives.
“These bills can be huge and have a really devastating impact on a family,” said Imholz.
Read More: 2016 Surprise Medical Bills Survey
A Consumers Union study found as many as 29 percent of people would not even fight the medical bill, mostly because they are afraid that not paying a bill could affect them.
Imholz says the impact is overlapping.
“Not only your credit rating but their emotional well-being,” Imholz said.
We reached out to the Moraida’s health insurer, who apologized saying, “The clinic was in-network however, the claim submitted by the clinic was not complete, which led to it processing incorrectly as out-of-network.”
Dan and Katie say Monroe is healing just fine, and they are glad to have the bill cleared.
Dan feels that something more should be done about medical billing.
“If somebody’s just willing to pay the money they just keep getting away with it,” he said.
There is constant confusion with hospitals and clinics that are in network but use doctors who are out-of-network. Protect yourself by demanding to see someone in your network.
If you get a surprise bill fight it with your insurance company, if you cannot get anywhere, use the tool online in the link to find out where to turn for help. https://consumersunion.org/insurance-complaint-tool/#california