Entertainment And News

Woman Charged Over $500,000 After Giving Birth Despite Having Health Insurance

Photo: Krysja / Shutterstock.com
Newborn intensive care unit and nurse

A woman in Florida was nothing less than shocked when she discovered that her hospital bill after giving birth came out to more than half a million dollars.

Her child had to stay in intensive care for over a month and when he was finally able to come home, the mom received a very unwelcome gift from the hospital.

Ridiculous healthcare costs are nothing new for Americans but Bisi Bennett might have set a new record with the bill she received.

The new mother received a bill of $550,000 after taking her baby home.

Although Bennett had health insurance, she had switched it while her son, Dorian, was placed in intensive care in order to monitor and stabilize his health.

RELATED: Why Mental Health Services Are So Grotesquely Expensive

Dorian was born prematurely in November 2020, and while the 1-year-old is now alive and healthy heading into the new year, Bennett was terrified for his health.

"I didn't even know if he was born alive and if he was stillborn," Bennett told "CBS Mornings" co-host Tony Dokoupil. "So I'm crying and very upset that I don't know he's going to make it at that point."

Dorian had to stay in intensive care for nearly two months before he was healthy enough to be brought home by Bennett. By then the family had received the massive bill.

"I was very upset when I saw the half-a-million-dollar bill because I felt like I done everything in my power to avoid them sending me that huge bill," she said.

She had purposely picked a hospital that was in-network for her United Healthcare insurance but said that in January 2021, while Dorian was still in the NICU, her employer changed health plans to UMR.

The bill was an 'administrative error.'

Instead of billing United Healthcare for 2020 and then UMR for 2021, the hospital billed both insurances for both years.

After neither insurance would cover the cost of the bill because of the administrative error, Bennett was hit with the entire fee of $550,000.

"I called the hospital several times just to let them know, 'Hey, you guys are lumping the bill together, you need to split it out.'"

RELATED: If Kylie Jenner Is Fundraising To Pay For Medical Bills, What Hope Do We Have?

However, when she received the same bill again but this time with a payment plan of $46,000, she realized that her calls weren’t working.

"Which is ridiculous. I don't have $46,000 to pay a month," Bennett said, and neither do many Americans who likely aren’t even making that in an entire year.

"I was scared that I was going to end up in collections," she continued.

"I hope that by doing this story, that they would really think about just health care from a holistic standpoint. Health is not just when you're in the hospital... It also has to do with how you treat someone after they've been discharged from the hospital."

When the Advent Health Orlando Hospital was contacted by Kaiser Health News, they finally revised the bill and updated it to $300 total.

"We apologize for the frustration this caused," the hospital said in a statement. "For future patients like Ms. Bennett, who may experience a change in insurance during their treatment, this case has allowed us to identify opportunities within our system to improve the billing and communications process."

Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, the editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, said "The problem here is that when there's a snafu or a disagreement between providers, the patient is left holding the bag."

For a country that already gets heavily ridiculed for the health insurance systems in place, this will likely add to the ammunition of those who make fun.

RELATED: Woman Agreed To Conceive A​ Child For Her Facebook Friend Over Messenger And Now Wants The Baby Back

Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!