That is scary. It seems so wrong when someone has paid all their insurance premiums, that they are not protected from this sort of thing. He had a heart attack and therefore was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital - he didn't have a choice about which one. In these situations where the patient has no choice and has a life-threatening emergency, it shouldn't matter if it's in-network and out-of-network.
Plus, most health plans have an out-of-network maximum that even for out-of-network situations there is a capped limit that the patient has to pay (usually far, far less than 109K!!) So I am shocked that this sort of thing happened to this man, who is grappling with this situation on top of recovering from a heart attack where he nearly died.
I am glad reporters followed this situation. It makes you wonder how many less-reported or less-publicized cases there are.
$109K 'settled' for $782 after publicity. Nothing screwy there.
We bill you 109 000 dollars but settle for $782, and this is nothing screwy to you?!
The system that bills you 14000% higher than the price they are fine with is fucking screwed!
Sarcasm. Sometimes it doesn't come through.