Local woman says she received medical bill before insurance was billed

a building that has a sign on the side of a road: Woman says she received medical bill before insurance was billed

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Woman says she received medical bill before insurance was billed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A warning tonight to anyone who’s received a hospital bill.

A local woman says she learned the hard way to double-check before paying.

Carol Loftus went to the doctor’s office in March.

Six months later, she got a bill for the service, which was odd because she doesn’t typically get bills with her insurance.

It’s a good thing she decided to question the bill or she would have paid for something that she shouldn’t have.

“The first thing I thought was wow I’ve got a bill, I’ve got to pay it, but then I thought no that’s a strange amount, I bet they haven’t billed both of my insurances,” said Loftus.

Last March, Loftus went to Atrium Health’s Carmel Family Physicians.

She got a bill dated Sept. 1 for $14.55.

Loftus went on the Atrium Health online portal and saw a zero balance and called Atrium to figure out what was going on.

“She said disregard the bill it’s been paid by Aetna and I said, ‘Am I going to get a zero balance in the mail?’ And she said, ‘we don’t usually send that,'” Loftus said.

Originally the bill was for $149.

Of that, $134.45 was paid, so that’s where the $14.55 balance came from.

Finding out the balance was actually covered by her insurance Aetna makes sense to Loftus, but this doesn’t.

“What kind of company sends out a bill to the patient, before they’ve totally submitted it to the insurances – it’s wrong,” Loftus said.

Loftus is sharing her story to warn others to think twice before paying the first bill that they receive – something President of the Better Business Bureau Tom Bartholomy would agree on.

“If you get something from the hospital and it doesn’t look like it’s gotten through insurance, immediately contact your insurance company,” said Bartholomy.

Barthlowmy says oftentimes, there are multiple players involved – from the providers to the insurance companies.

“Whatever medical provider is involved—stay in contact with them as well as staying in touch with the insurance company,” said Bartholomy.

WBTV reached out to Aetna, and they confirmed they paid the $14 balance.

Loftus is just grateful she was able to find out the truth about her bill ahead of time but worries about others who might have just paid off the first bill they saw.

“And this is just wrong. I mean no company should be doing this, they could be holding lots of money that don’t belong to them,” said Loftus.

The only question left in this story is why that bill was sent to Loftus in the first place.

WBTV tried to ask Atrium for an explanation on that, but they continue to refuse to respond to our questions.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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