For more than a year, a New York woman fought a hefty medical bill for a health emergency that her insurance wouldn't cover. It wasn't until a local news station started sniffing around before she found herself free of the expense that she otherwise couldn't afford.
Lori Rozany, a woman from Brooklyn who suffers from a congenital heart condition, was visiting a friend in Pennsylvania last year when she had an episode that landed her in the hospital and eventually rendered her unconscious, WNBC-TV reported. Her cardiologist in New York City requested she be transported from the Lancaster hospital back to New York in a medical helicopter.
It was a trip that cost nearly $67,000 — and her insurance refused to pay three times.
“I remember being moved from one bed to the other side of the emergency room for a chest X-ray. And that’s all I remember," Rozany told WNBC.
The next thing she knew, she woke up hearing the sound of her doctor's voice in New York.
Months later, Rozany got a $66,747 bill from UnitedHealthcare Oxford, which wouldn't pay for the helicopter ride because it wasn't preauthorized by the company, the news station reported. Her cardiologist appealed to the insurance company on her behalf, but the insurer still wouldn't honor the claim.
Rozany, who was born with a hole in her heart, had no choice when it came to the air transportation because she was unconscious. Afterward, she was slapped with a bill she couldn't dream of paying. (Image source: WNBC-TV)
Rozany reached out to WNBC for help because she "didn't know what else to do."
"How can somebody pay that bill?" she asked. "It's not a normal bill."
When the news station started asking questions of its own, the situation quickly changed.
"We worked with the air transport company … to reach a more agreeable rate. She will not be responsible for any additional costs," a UnitedHealthcare Oxford spokeswoman told WNBC. "We will continue to push back on excessive rates like the original air transport charge that drive up costs while unfairly burdening businesses and consumers."
Watch the news station's report: