Guest Post — Aug. 1, 2013
Note from Dan: Below is Chapter 3 of many similar stories I’ve heard in the last three days. Chapter 1 appeared as Tuesday’s column. Chapter 2 appeared on this blog Wednesday. Fyi, Carol Sue Slusser and her husband live in Blacksburg.
By Carol Sue Slusser
On August 2, 2012, my husband (Michael Slusser) was admitted to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center in Radford. He was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and spent a week there. Most of his time was spent in intensive care.
As his health was declining, it was decided that he was in need of a more intense medical facility and was flown to the University of Virginia Medical Center. He was in intensive care at UVA for two weeks and eventually brought home on a feeding tube for another two months. Obviously, his life was at risk.
I am thankful to say that he has improved, but he is still visiting UVA, as he is still having some digestive issues. I credit UVA Medical Center for saving my husband’s life and for that I am so very grateful. Without an air transport service, I may have very well lost him.
He was flown from Radford to Charlottesville via Med-Trans Air Medical Transport. Before the transport, I was asked if he had health insurance and I said yes, with Anthem. NEVER was I informed that the company that would be transporting him from an in-network facility to another in-network facility, was an out-of-network provider.
• Total bill for flight $32,625.63.
• Anthem paid out 100% of the allowable charge – $9,129.71.
• Leaving a balance of $23,495.92.
I was contacted by Med-Trans payment plan department and given the following payment options:
• Pay in full in 30 days and the account would be considered paid in full $10,573.16.
• Pay in 6 monthly installments of $1,656.08.
• Down payment of $1057.32 and 60 monthly installments of $226.38.
My husband is on full disability, due to a non-related medical condition. We are not in a financial situation to make any of these payments. I was asked to make an offer of payment and I informed them that I would not, as that would be agreeing that we owe them. I simply told the representative that I would NOT be paying this outrageous bill.
I have contacted everyone that I know to help with this situation, but am at a dead end.
• We did not qualify for financial assistance via Med-Trans.
• Anthem representatives in Richmond – appealed and denied.
• Congressman Griffith’s Office – referred to the State Corporation Commission – no assistance.
• Multiple calls and letters to Carilion – we were notified in April that they had contacted Med-Trans and our account is on hold. We would not receive any more bills until an agreement is resolved.