Childbirth in America costs an arm and a leg, and that’s with good health insurance. So, when a hospital decides to charge new moms for medical procedures they never even had, the financial burdens become that much more costly.
Some of us are so wrapped up in the exhaustion of newborn life that being diligent about checking the ins and outs of a medical bill might be the last thing on our minds.
One mom shared her story about a medical bill mishap, urging others to always look things over closely and the easy hack to get an incorrect billing charge taken care of fast.
“I gave birth to my second child, and then I got the medical bill and I was like, ‘Wow, I know that having kids in the United States is expensive because I’ve had one of them, so even with insurance it was several thousand dollars, but this seems like several thousand too many dollars,” Annie Muscato explained in her viral video.
She called the hospital, asking for an itemized bill of her labor and delivery. While looking through the list, she saw some egregious things ($40 for Tylenol), but she also noticed one major charge — $3,000 for an epidural.
The problem was that Muscato had never had an epidural. Even so, the hospital’s billing department tried to gaslight her into thinking she had, swearing her medical charts said she had received an epidural.
After going back and forth several rounds with billing, she received a call from a debt collector. Despite her concerns and not paying the bill due to the blatant discrepancy, the billing department still sent her unpaid bill to a debt collection service.
“I didn’t know how that works. I pay all my bills on time, but I get this random phone call from this very nice woman who’s like, ‘Hey, I’m with whatever debt collection agency. You owe this amount. You have to pay it today.’ And I freaked out a little bit,” she explained.
After explaining her tricky situation to the debt collector, she learned that this kind of mishap was actually pretty common and proceeded to give her the best advice for removing incorrect charges from a medical bill.
“… she told me, ‘Call them and tell them that you want to request your full medical record because now you’re concerned about what else has been erroneously recorded in your medical record. If they have it recorded that you received care that you didn’t.’”
After she took the debt collector’s advice, her problem was solved “so freaking fast.”
After that incident, she’s used this helpful billing hack several times since then, noting that “it works every single time.”
“So, if you are ever being charged for something that you know is wrong, or you shouldn’t be charged for — because apparently this happens … There’s a lot of moving parts — you just call and say you’re concerned about what else is wrong in your medical record or request to see it and suddenly the charges go away,” she concluded.
In the comment section, viewers shared similar stories about being overcharged by hospitals for services they never received.
“We got billed for our son’s circumcision…. which he didn’t have,” one viewer wrote. “I told the billing lady I would bring him in to prove it.”
“I got charged for a C section that I never had,” another commenter said. “That was easy to prove as I’ve never been pregnant.”
“I got billed for labor and delivery,” another viewer added. “I didn’t have a baby.”