New Mom Burdened by Hundreds of Dollars in Surprise Medical Bills

By Consumers for Quality Care, on October 6, 2021

New Mom Burdened by Hundreds of Dollars in Surprise Medical Bills

When Ashley Dade gave birth in June, she was under the impression that she had met her health insurance deductible, until she found a bill in the mail for $420.

After finding slightly elevated levels of bilirubin, Dade’s new baby required daily blood draws to treat a mild case of jaundice. The pediatric clinic that performed the blood draws believed Dade had not met her insurance deductible and charged her $105 per visit.

“It’s very concerning, especially for a new mom,” Dade told WTVR in Richmond, Virginia. “I’m thinking I won’t get a bill. You know, I’m already getting all of these bills from the hospital. And then three months later, I’m slapped with another bill that I was not expecting.”

Dade, who is filing an appeal with her insurance company, says the entire process has been emotionally taxing and time-consuming.

“The communication was terrible,” Dade says. “I just kept telling them, ‘you guys need to be better with this. This is very confusing, especially for somebody like me. I’m not in the healthcare field. I don’t know anything about it.'”

Consumers, especially new parents, have far more important responsibilities than wading through a flood of confusing health insurance practices and contradictory information. Policymakers must do more to simplify the health care system and increase medical billing transparency.