HOUSTON, Texas – For many patients medical care comes with a huge price tag, even with health insurance.
But if your medical bills seem overwhelming, there is hope out there.
Tiffany Leflouria, 36, has just given birth to her very first child, a little baby girl doctors told her she’d never be able to carry.
“It was amazing to find out one, that I’m pregnant with her, and two, to have her born on Mother’s Day was the best gift ever,” said Tiffany.
But there were problems. Her daughter, Ava, was born premature and had to spend 19 days in the neo-natal ICU.
Tiffany was diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart defect and also spent more than two weeks in the hospital.
When it was all over, even with her health insurance, Tiffany got a bill for $64,118.00.
“It’s just overwhelming, extremely overwhelming,” said Tiffany. “Compared to my salary, this bill is about three and a half times more than what I make annually.”
What does a typical single mom who knows nothing about medical billing, supposed to do with a huge hospital bill, like this one? This is where a whole new breed of medical professionals are emerging. They’re called medical billing advocates – billing experts you hire and pay to take your hospital bill, find mistakes and get it lowered for you.
Christina Lamontagne, a medical billing advocate with nerdwallet.com, can help. It’s a company you can call for free with questions about high medical bills.
“Medical professionals who are trained to reduce your bill,” said Christina Lamontagne. “You can hire them off of our website and they will bring down your bill and save you a whole lot of money.”
After meeting with Tiffany Leflouria, Christina Lamontagne said that the ultimate goal is to reduce her bill by tens of thousands of dollars.
The process of lowering medical bills can take weeks to complete.