Late in 2005, we had an issue where all of the medical practices in my area dropped them, and in order to go to the OB/GYN, a must as I was about to get surgery for endometriosis, I would have had to drive past a metropolitan area where there are lots of very nice OB/GYN offices - some of the best in the state! - into a crappy part of town, 20 miles away from my own house. Ridiculous. Thankfully that was resolved and I was able to go back to my regular OB/GYN, whom I absolutely adore, but it was a crappy experience nonetheless.
In May of 2006, I was 7 months pregnant and my water broke. I went immediately to the hospital, where I was placed on strict bedrest and was told that I'd be in there on strict bedrest for at least 6 weeks or until my baby decided to come out on his own. I called UHC and told them that I'd either be in the hospital for a while or my son would be in the NICU for a while, possibly both. I told them the name of the hospital, the name of the neonatologist's group (who I'll call "NAI"), everything. They said they'd cover it all, no problem, thanks for letting us know. My son was born 5 days later and spent 2 months in the NICU.
Fast forward to a month ago. A woman from the billing department at NAI called my husband very frustrated because UHC was now denying their claim and had already denied an appeal, because they were out of network. If that weren't frustrating enough, UHC had already told her way back in June when my son was born that they were in-network and everything would be covered. She asked if my husband's company's HR department could do anything about it.
My husband called HR, who said they'd seen this before with UHC, and that she'd call corporate HR and have them lean on UHC to cover this, then told my husband that he shouldn't worry about it. My husband works for a major company in the Fortune 500, and I'm sure UHC doesn't want to lose that account, so hopefully they'll bend.
In the meantime, we've received a letter from UHC letting us know that they denied our claim, and today a bill from NAI for $46,000 and some change. (That's why I'm posting about this today... the more I think about it, the angrier I get, and we just got the bill today.) I'm not angry with NAI for this in the least, they need to get paid for saving my son's life and all. I'm just pretty much livid with UHC. I don't know if they changed their network while my son was in the NICU or what, because they told me and someone from NAI that my son's stay would be covered save a $150 copay.
I just don't know what to do now. I'm really praying that my husband's company exerts some major power over UHC and they bend. I won't not pay NAI, but to be $46K in debt because UHC is a bunch of idiots really doesn't sit well with me. It's just baffling that the hospital, nurses (who are all independent of the hospital itself), and the doctors in the OB group who took care of me and delivered my baby were all in network, but not the neonatologists that exclusively serve this hospital.