It’s never fun to end up in the hospital.
Be it for a planned operation or an unwanted trip to the emergency room, being in a hospital comes with a guaranteed amount of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty.
Sadly, much of that anxiety remains upon leaving the hospital, after you’re handed the bill.
Even those with health insurance will still find themselves owing an amount they cannot afford.
Such was the case for the boyfriend of Redditor dingussdaisy, who found himself in the hospital following a car accident.
The bill they were faced with was sure to put them in a precarious financial situation.
Until the original poster, (OP) went to great lengths to get the bill lowered.
Great lengths which their partner rather surprisingly didn’t appreciate.
Wondering if they had done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for how I fought my boyfriend’s medical bill, going ‘too far’?”
The OP shared how they successfully lobbied to lower her boyfriend’s medical bill, but found themself surprised by their boyfriend’s reaction.
“My boyfriend had to go to the ER after a accident, and he got a truly ridiculous bill back.”
“I offered to fight the bill for her because I’ve done it before, and he said sure.”
“I went all-out, because honestly if we were out 5 grand, after insurance, that would f*ck up our holiday plans pretty bad.”
“So I had him call the hospital and authorize me to handle his bill and access his medical records.”
“Got an itemized bill and compared the prices for each code to the fair prices.”
“Called billing to dispute the bill, but was told that billing only collects bills, I’d need to contact admin to dispute.”
“Bounced around a call center for hours trying to get someone who was actually qualified for bill disputes, and getting nowhere.”
“Google and Linkedin, searched for the hospital board of directors and upper management.”
“Got 30 emails of the most influential people at the hospital, plus the hospital’s investors.”
“Every day would send a few emails, working my 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, and how their billing department, customer service department, and the growing list of management I’d emailed, had failed to address the issue.”
“Escalated the emails until I was writing the director-level staff with the entire board of directors and a number of outside investors CC’d, asking for a written statement regarding their justification for billing at a rate 7 times higher than the national average, for commensurate services to what is available at other hospitals.”
“And sternly laying out the failures to appropriately respond, at every level of the company.”
“Well, once I’d done all that (which was honestly only like 15 minutes a day) they reduced the bill from $5000 to $26.”
“Yep, twenty-six f*ckin dollars.”
“Well, I told my boyfriend the good news, and he was at first overjoyed and blown away, like literally jumping up and down and hugging me and saying I was literally a Christmas miracle.”
“But then when he asked how I did it, I said it wasn’t too hard, I just had to send a couple emails each day.”
“He was curious what I’d said, and I handed him my phone.”
“He started to get stressed, and flipping back through other emails.”
“Which there were like 60 of.”
“He told me I went way too far, he was expecting me to dispute through their billing department or something normal and reasonable like that, not internet stalk every single manager and board member and investor and harass them into dropping the bill.”
“I was frustrated because I’d just saved us 5 grand, actually made it possible for us to afford a nice Christmas and save some money, and he was mad at me because I’d been a bit of a harda**?
“I was furious, and he was also mad at me, saying he authorized me to dispute a bill, not basically threaten and harass a whole damn hospital for weeks.”
“AITA for how I got my boyfriend’s medical bills dropped?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was in no way the a**hole for the time and effort they put in to reduce their boyfriend’s medical bill.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s actions were commendable, with many wishing that they could do the same for them.
“Hospital billing is intentionally screwed up and difficult to address issues.”
“When I gave birth to my kid 16 years ago, they double-billed everything and it took almost A YEAR to get it all straightened out.”
“I pretty much had to schedule hours into my weekly schedule to deal with contesting collections, getting it sent back to billing, dealing with some other person in billing, and etc.”
“With a newborn through 1yo, and while I was also working full-time.”
“It was an additional part time job to ‘fix the damn hospital bill’.”
“What you had to do is not abnormal.”- PurpleMarsAlien
“NTA and I think you need to start a business doing this for others.”- BeneLeit
“But you are too powerful and will probably be nerfed in the next patch.”- Kufat
“Down to 26$ and he is mad at you?”
“You are a genius in my book.”
“Do a shady mechanic next.”- CallMeLickleChitten
“Yes, you went above and beyond tracking down folks, but for-profit hospitals are extremely predatory.”- WholeAd2742
“As someone who works in Medical Billing, bravo! “
“You did exactly what we wish everyone would do; research it, ask for an itemized bill, etc.”
“You killed it, OP.”
“Thank you.”- AlmightyAcey
“Does he think the hospital won’t like him anymore?”
“You did just what you’re supposed to.”
“Don’t get a response from level 1?”
“Escalate to level 2 and so on.”
“I love my wife for doing this so well because I’m terrible at it.”
“You are a friggin’ rock star and should be a damn professional advocate for those who get ripped off in healthcare like this.”
“Your boyfriend is so unappreciative and is clearly clueless on how diligent you need to be to challenge an erroneous bill.”
“When the hospital, doctors, and insurance companies are unwilling to help you resolve their errors, what else are you supposed to do?”
“So many people just quit and either pay the massive bill or go into debt.”
“Tell your boyfriend this is the only Christmas gift you’re giving him.”
“Clearly NTA.”- shuckyducked
“What do you do for a living?”
“This is legitimately kind of impressive.”
“Would you consider doing this from the opposite direction to get insurers to actually cover what they’re supposed to?”- frygod
“And well done.”
“You should consider making that a business.”- Solala22
“The idea someone could be mad at you for sticking up for them.”
“Major corporations and especially medial ones these days rely on people not having the knowledge and time to contest them.”
“If they truly thought they were entitled to it, they would have just said so and hung up.”
“They don’t write off thousands of dollars because you were a pest.”- Dearic75
“F*CK HOSPITAL BILLING.”
“Yeah, I said it.”
“F*ck the entire billing department of every hospital in the United States.”
“I hope they all get a paper cut just before going on vacation.”
“They over billed you because they can.”
“They did it because nobody ever fights back.”
“They do owe a written justification for their f*ckery, and they they should be publicly shamed, by name.”
“You are a hero, NTA, and you’ve got a future in patient billing advocacy.”
“If you charged 10% of the savings you managed to get people, you’d make a killing.”
“Your BF is afraid of conflict with the hallowed halls of authority.”
“But if he wants a warrior woman as a partner, then he’s got to let you go out and slay the beasts.”
“Great job.”- kevwelch
“Unless he got banned from the hospital or something.”
“Also, damn.”- TheMainEffort
“Can you do mine next?”
“I don’t know wtf is wrong with your bf.”
“Listen OP, please tell your guy, or show him this Reddit thread and comments, that people do this everyday at the hospital.”
“The billing department is used to this.”
“Tell him that my family member also had a massive bill and just by him talking to the billing department while in the hospital face to face he negotiated, without even trying, a 33% discount.”
“Please tell him it’s fine.”
‘And your continuous emailing of people, oh well, leads to accountability in the long run and as long as you didn’t break the law, all good.”- Mandaloriana_2022
We can all relate to having our friends and loved ones being unnecessarily “difficult” at certain times.
However, not many people would consider successfully managing to reduce a medical bill by nearly $5,000 as being “difficult”,
But rather, fighting for what’s right.
Hopefully, the OP’s boyfriend will come to realize this as they celebrate a Christmas they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford, all thanks to the OP.