Anyone who’s ever needed medical care in America knows that we need all the help — hacks included — that we can get. And that includes giving birth. Even if you’re lucky enough to have good health insurance, an uncomplicated birth of a child is likely to cost you several thousand dollars. And that’s if nothing goes wrong — healthwise, or with the hospital bill. One mom is sharing her story about how she got stuck with a bill for several thousand extra dollars because of a hospital’s billing error — but lucky for all of us, she’s also sharing what she learned about how to fix it.
“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 now-viral TikTok.
So she called the hospital and requested an itemized bill. Therein was the problem: a $3,000 charge for an epidural she never received. Moscato said she went back and forth with the hospital’s billing department “10 times” as they insisted she had had the epidural and she insisted she hadn’t. She paid all of the bill except the part for the epidural, and then was surprised to get a call from a debt collector. Luckily, the debt collector was willing to help.
“… 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,'” Moscato said, adding that once she did, the hospital removed the incorrect charge “so freaking fast.”
She added that she’s used this trick since then and 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 said.
So there you have it. America, land of the free — and home of this one trick you can use to avoid crippling medical debt that you shouldn’t have had in the first place.