Bisi Bennett, 38, (pictured) of Orlando, Florida, received a shocking $550,134.76 hospital bill in the mail after her first-born son Dorian was born in November 2020
A Florida mother was billed more than half a million dollars following the birth of her son – and the hospital offered to let her cover the tab in a dozen $46,000 monthly installments.
Bisi Bennett, 38, of Orlando, Florida, welcomed her firstborn Dorian, now one, in the family’s Mitsubishi Outlander as her husband drove her to the hospital near midnight on November 12, 2020.
Already a startling entrance to the world, as the baby boy was born premature in the breech position – meaning his head came out last – the new parents received an extraordinary bill of $660,553, with the patient responsibility being $550,134.76.
The payment plan wasn’t any better, as the hospital Advent Health Orlando – an in-network facility that accepts Bennett’s insurance – offered to let the new family cover the bill in $45,843.73 installments over the course of a year.
The offer was populated by the medical facility’s billing system, as all non-profit hospitals have to offer financial assistance under the Affordable Care Act. The financial assistance policy went into effect in 2010.
‘It was ridiculous, I don’t have $46,000 to pay a month,’ Bennett told CBS Mornings.
The cause of the gigantic bill came down to miscommunication, as Bennett’s health insurance switched from United Healthcare to UMR the first of the year – a move Bennett made sure the hospital knew of in advance.
Instead of splitting the bill between the two providers – billing United Healthcare for the 2020 expenses and UMR for 2021 – both companies were billed the charge in full, which both denied due to the ‘uncovered’ time on the bill.
Bennett and her husband Chris, 39, (pictured) who was diagnosed with stage four cancer in April, were offered an almost $46,000 a month payment plan to pay off the bill in 12 months. ‘It was ridiculous,’ Bennett said. ‘I don’t have $46,000 to pay a month’
The bill was tallied after a miscommunication between the hospital and her insurance companies. Bennett, who works in the insurance industry, switched healthcare companies on January 1 in accordance with her company’s policy
The insurance companies denied the bill because it contained dates where Dorian was not covered under each one’s respective plan.
‘I called the hospital several times to let them know: “Hey, you’re lumping the bill together, you need to split it out,”‘ Bennett told CBS Mornings.
‘I was scared that I was going to go into collections,’ she said. Her bill – which was eventually adjusted to $300, plus her $6,000 deductible – wasn’t updated until September.
United Healthcare said it did not receive the 2020 bill until Fall 2021 and told CBS Mornings that its portion of the bill has been paid.
The new mom received a half-a-million-dollar bill after both insurance companies denied to pay the bill due to Dorian not being covered under it the full stay
The new mom then had to take on the battle of informing the hospital that the bill had to be split. Dorian was born on November 12 and didn’t leave the hospital until January 7, and his treatment would have to be divided between her healthcare insurers.
Baby Dorian spent 56 days in the NICU and needed highly technical, lifesaving respiratory and nutritional care after being be born premature, according to NPR.
Dorian’s parents were concerned their son was born stillborn after he didn’t cry, but doctors, who cut the umbilical cord while the pair were rolled into the hospital, informed the new parents ‘he has a pulse.’
During his almost two-month stay, he also received laboratory, radiology, surgery, cardiology and audiology services and treatments.
He didn’t leave the hospital until January 7.
On top of that, her husband Chris, 39, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer in April.
With the bill still unresolved at that time, Bennett said she felt she was ‘going crazy’ at times. Advent Health Orlando told the new mom that it would have the billing issue cleared up by March, but it wasn’t resolved until September.
United Healthcare claimed it informed the hospital to revise the bill in the spring, according to NPR.
‘They’re in charge of billing, and I shouldn’t be the one having to tell [Advent Health Orlando], “Bill my one insurance for dates in 2020 and bill my other insurance for dates in 2021,” but I did,’ she told NPR.
Dorian received extensive medical treatment during his stay as he was born premature. He spent 56 days in the NICU
The bill for Dorian would eventually be adjusted to $300, plus the deductible, which is $6,000
‘I kept having the same conversation over and over.’
The bill eventually went from $550,000 to $300 after both companies paid its’ portion, leaving the total patient bill at $6,300.
Advent Health Orlando spokesperson David Breen told NPR that the company ‘understand[s] this has been a confusing and challenging experience for Ms. Bennett, and we apologize for the frustration this has caused.’
The healthcare facility also said in a statement to CBS Mornings that ‘future patients’ will hopefully not to deal with the stress and frustration Bennett did as the experience ‘has allowed us to identify opportunities within our system to improve the billing and communications process.’
We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.
This content was originally published here.