Was Girlfriend Wrong For Fighting To Get Her Boyfriend’s Medical Bill Down By 99% Going Too Far?

As medical costs continue to rise, one brave soul puts up her dukes to the hierarchical powers that be to bring down her boyfriend’s medical bill. Here is the girlfriend’s account, the original poster (OP) of her experience around holiday time.

OP’s boyfriend went to the emergency room after an accident, and he had gotten “a truly ridiculous bill back.” She offered to fight the bill for him because she’d done it before, and he said sure. She went all-out because the bill was out five grand, after insurance, which would screw up their holiday plans badly.

These are the steps she shared on the Internet:

  • She had her boyfriend call the hospital to authorize her to handle his bill and access his medical records.

  • OP reviewed an itemized bill and compared the prices for each code to the fair prices.

  • OP called the billing department to dispute the bill, but that department only collects bills, so she needed to contact the administration to dispute the bill. She was bounced around the call center for hours but didn’t get far.

  • OP did a Google and LinkedIn search for the hospital board of directors and upper management.

  • OP received 30 email responses from the most influential people at the hospital, plus the hospital’s investors.

  • Daily she sent out responses, working her way up the chain and writing an (increasingly long) email describing how they billed my “client” at 7 times over the fair price for services rendered. OP told them how their billing department, customer service department, and the growing list of management she’d emailed had failed to address the issue.

  • OP escalated the emails until she wrote the director-level staff with the entire board of directors and CC’d several outside investors, asking for a written statement regarding their justification for billing at a rate seven times higher than the national average for commensurate services to what is available at other hospitals. She sternly laid out the failures to respond appropriately at every company level.

OP shared her results, saying, “Well, once I’d done all that (which was honestly only 15 minutes a day), they reduced the bill… From $5000 to $26. Yep, twenty-six @#$%&* dollars.”

She told her boyfriend about the reduced medical bill,  and he was initially happy. However, he asked how she did it. She shared some of the details, but when she gave him her phone, he flipped through the 60 or so emails. He told her she went ” way too far,” saying he had expected her just to dispute with the billing department, “or something normal and reasonable like that, not internet stalk every manager, board member, and investor,” harassing them into dropping the bill.

OP was frustrated and furious at her boyfriend because she had saved substantial money to afford a nice holiday, and he was mad at her for her tactics. She turned to the Internet, asking if she was wrong about how she got her boyfriend’s medical bill dropped.

The Masses Weigh In

The Internet blew up, with Redditors piling in with adoring support and amazement for what the OP and she could accomplish. Here are the top votes, as
At nearly 71,000 upvotes, one Redditor told OP, “You are a friggin’ rock star and should be a professional advocate for those who get ripped in healthcare like this. Your boyfriend is so unappreciative and clearly clueless about how diligent you must be to challenge an erroneous bill. What else should you do when the hospital, doctors, and insurance companies are unwilling to help you resolve their errors? So many people just quit and either pay the massive bill or go into debt. Tell your boyfriend this is the only gift you’re giving him, as you are not in the wrong.”
Another Redditor agreed, asking the OP, “Have you considered offering this service professionally?”

Many piped in with comments about the challenges of the medical system in this country, and their own experience, fighting at every level.

This comment shared this: “I have wasted DAYS of my life, fighting health insurance over an $800 for a “well woman” check. Their refusal to cover OB consult because it might have been for “an abortion or infertility which we don’t cover’, refusal to cover a breast pump in the year of our Lord 2021 because ‘it’s not solely a medical device’ and while I won all of those I want my time back and I will fight you for this woman!!”

One overly impressed Redditor told her to “Leave him and marry me. I’m a woman and already married, but my husband would understand.”

Another said, “I am pretty sure at this rate, and with this skill, OP could have a block of houses and a few apartment complexes of willing partners to work for her.”

The OP responded to the comments asking her where she had known how to do this, saying, “Ugh I wish I hadn’t. I only learned so much about corporate law after a few experiences as a woman in automotive engineering that made me get practice reading law and threatening corporations. Thanks for the compliment, but TBH, these are skills that suck to have to learn, so I’m mostly just fed up, lol”

What do you think? Is this story bizarre or too familiar to you? I was grateful to see that nobody agreed with her boyfriend, and I hope he sees his error. This internet story honestly united everyone, and that’s a rare occurrence.

This thread inspired this post.
This article appeared first on The Cents of Money.

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