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Contact 6: Checking your medical bills for mistakes

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GREENFIELD -- Say the words "health insurance" and "medical bills" and many people's eyes glaze over. FOX6's Contact 6 says before you JUST pay the bill - see how one couple got smart!

When you don't feel well, especially if your illness results in a trip to the hospital, often the last thing you are considering is how much that hospital or doctor visit will cost. You just want to feel better!

That's how Guido Francolucci felt last August, when he went in to the hospital for kidney stones. Francolucci left the hospital feeling better, until the bill came!

"We looked at the bill and there were a couple of double charges, so they re-did the bill, and we received a bill for $420.23," Francolucci said.

Francolucci's wife, Vicki knew Guido's normal inhaler cost about $42 - not $420!

"Boy, that's a lot of money for an inhaler!" Vicki said.

When they took a closer look at the bill, they discovered the problem.

"They had abbreviated the inhaler as 'fluconisone/sal.' Somehow, it was entered in as a salve, and not an inhaler," Vicki said.

That typo sent Vicki reeling between Aurora and United Healthcare and prescription solutions for months.

"She was getting frustrated where there were times when I would have just thrown the phone," Guido said.

Vicki says they told her the bill had to manually be overwritten.

"I asked where the magic fairy was that was going to do this, because I would certainly be glad to talk with them," Vicki said.

When no magic fairy showed up, Vicki filed a complaint with FOX6's Contact 6.

"I don't know how you did it. It just took one call from you, and the check was in the mail," Vicki said.

"We would have just paid (the bill). It gets to be too frustrating," Guido said.

United Healthcare wrote to Contact 6, saying: "Our team investigated, made the correction and is processing a check."

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that easily.

Contact 6 offers these suggestions:

  • Look over your bill and check for any double billing or items that seem like they cost too much.
  • Be sure to keep a log of the day/time and names of people you spoke with and what they told you.
  • Follow the appeals process rules - make copies of the bills, and put your complaint in writing.

If all else fails, call Contact 6. With the Francolucci's $375 cash back, it brings Contact 6's grand total so far this year to more than $92,000 - at $92, 337.95.

CLICK HERE to file a complaint with FOX6's Contact 6.