South Carolina woman’s medical bill keeps increasing

Woman's medical bill keeps increasing

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - We all know that paying a bill for any medical procedure can be a real challenge, but imagine making a payment and seeing your bill actually increase monthly.

A Charlotte woman called the hospital saying something was wrong, but no one would listen, so she turned to WBTV for help.

“The bill that I keep getting is different from each person I talk to," said Marci Gentry.

In June 2019, Gentry went to the ER at Atrium Health Pineville. However, instead of receiving the initial bill from the hospital, she received a $4,000 bill from a collection agency.

“They don’t even want to talk with you on the phone," Gentry said, "they treat you like you’re nothing.”

Gentry started making payments on the bill in January 2020, but in July, she received a bill from the collection agency claiming the bill was actually closer to $2,200. In August, yet another collection agency contacted her and her balance went up again - now up to nearly 31-hundred dollars.

“And then on September 15, I called the hospital and they gave me a different amount, they gave me $3,052.57.”

Gentry says she called her insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, and was given still another charge indicating over $8,000.

“They’re showing total charge of $8,676 of which I would owe the provider $4,125.83.”

With two collection agencies hounding her, Gentry says she called Atrium, asking for an itemized statement to figure out how the total charge jumped to $8,600. Gentry says Atrium refused to provide an itemized statement and she had no way to come up with $3,000 or $4,000.

“There’s no way that I can pay $3,000 at one time. I’m a single mom of two kids, one is starting college, so there’s no way I can send them $3,000 right now.”

Neither Atrium nor Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina would answer questions for this story.

But after days of pressing from WBTV, Gentry got a call from the collection agency saying they’d reduce the amount she owed to just $2,400. If she pays now, they’ll remove the charge from her credit report.

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