Texas Teacher Hit With $109,000 Bill Despite Having Insurance . . . Bill Reduced To $332 After Media Coverage

As reported by Kaiser Health News and NPR on Monday as part of the “Bill of the Month” series, the Calver case is all too familiar. The 44-year-old father of two had suffered his heart attack in April 2017 and rushed to the nearest emergency room. That happened to be an out-of-network hospital.  Accordingly, his school district health paid roughly $56,000 for the four days of hospitalization and later procedures.

St. David’s Medical Center in Austin then hit Calver with an additional $109,000 in as a “balance billing.”  That is when Calver went public and that amount was immediately reduced to $782 and then down to $332.

The case captures the “funny money” approach of this inherently dishonest process.  Despite endless examples of inflated billing in this broken system, Congress continues to do nothing. It has left patients to be abused and threatened in a process where these bills are little more than hold ups — or  calculated to make patients spend endless hours to challenge and correct.  It is an utter disgrace.

It is clear that Calver’s media coverage not his insurance coverage was the reason for this change.

Despite this ridiculous record, St. David’s HealthCare, continues to say “did everything right in this particular situation.” So this absurd series of billings and a reduction of $109,000 to $332 is just right in the insane medical insurance system in the United States.

155 thoughts on “Texas Teacher Hit With $109,000 Bill Despite Having Insurance . . . Bill Reduced To $332 After Media Coverage”

  1. phony despicable “nonprofit” hospitals do this all the time as much as the others

  2. The true scandal isn’t when crimes go unpunished, but what remains perfectly legal. It’s abuses like these that make single-payer sound like a great idea.

    1. It goes beyond these crimes being simply legal. Most Americans believe that their freedoms are dependent on the freedom to charge what the market will bear; no government regulations, no nothing. Their delusion is so thick that they give up their rights as human beings for the right of a few percent of the population to become wealthy. Therein lies the irony of the American condition. They allow the rich to be subsidized, unregulated, creating the greatest gap between the average and the top in all the world, in the name of some sacred perverse freedom. America is the only country that accepts financial risk, defends the rights of millionaires to become billionaires, and pays three times for health care all in the name of some perverse interpretation of freedom.

      On a shuttle from an airport one time, there were four groups, someone remarked about the LOTTO amount advertised on a billboard, in the tens of millions. Someone else said, “Yeah but you don’t get all that. ‘They’ take taxes and if you want it all at once ‘they’ take a third.” The ‘They’ were up for attack. The next person started to complain about how ‘they’ take advantage of you and that if ‘they’ advertise the win at such and such then it should be so. Another person chimed in about rights and freedoms and how everybody was getting screwed. By the time my stop came around there was a full fledged revolution against ‘they’ going on, curse words and all. This typifies the American concept of freedom and rights. We are ready to fight and die for the rights of two or three per cent, and the illusion that it could happen to anyone.

Comments are closed.