Bisi Benett was charged a huge amount of money even after giving birth in a hospital covered by her health insurance.
Bisi Benett, a woman from Florida, was crushed under a half-million-dollar hospital bill after giving birth to her son. Her health insurance plan was changed while her child was in NICU which caused a hefty bill and confusion. Her son was born prematurely in November 2020 and spent two months in the NICU, which completely scared Benett and her family. She told CBS News, "I didn't even know if he was born alive and if he was stillborn," expressing her horror towards her son's condition. She added, "So I'm crying and very upset that I don't know he's going to make it at that point." She feared for her son's life and did everything she could to provide him with the best possible care and treatment.
A Florida woman ended up with a hospital bill for more than half a million dollars after giving birth — despite having health insurance. https://t.co/kiuXn1BZyd— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@wjz) December 22, 2021
Benett's son Dorian, who is 1 year old now, was under observation for more than two months before he was discharged to go home. According to NPR, Dorian required, "highly technical, lifesaving respiratory and nutritional care until his organs matured' for almost 2 months. Immediately after the discharge, Benett received a medical bill of exactly $550,124.76, which came as a shock for the first-time mother. She told CBS, "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."
Benett, who works in the insurance industry, went to Advent Health Orlando for giving birth because it was close to her residence and was covered by her health insurance. Her employer changed her health insurance plan from United Healthcare to UMR in January 2021, while her son was still in the hospital. The hospital billed both policies for both years instead of separately billing United Healthcare for 2020 and UMR for 2021. Due to this error by the hospital administration, none of the insurance companies were ready to cover the bill. Instead, Benett was asked to cover all the costs required.
A Florida woman received a hospital bill for more than $500,000 after giving birth — despite having health insurance.— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) December 21, 2021
“I felt like I'd done everything in my power to avoid them sending me that huge bill,” said first-time mom Bisi Bennett. pic.twitter.com/N49irOu274
Benett tried her best to coordinate with the hospital, as she told CBS, "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." However, she was repeatedly sent the same bill again which had a monthly payment plan of $46,000. She criticised the healthcare in the country by saying, "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."
Kaiser Health News reached out to Advent Health Orlando in October this year, after which they revised Benett's bill to $300 in total. United Healthcare apologised for the incident, stating that they did not receive the bill for 2020 until this year and they have since then cleared all the dues. Advent Healthcare Orlando also released a statement that read, "We apologize for the frustration this caused. 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."
Cover Image Source: Still from CBS Morning