Aaron’s son was born on April 28th, 2017. The pregnancy seemed to go very smoothly, but when he was born, he weighed less than four pounds and had a host of mysterious complications that the doctors at Freeman Hospital in Joplin were having a difficult time diagnosing and treating. A doctor on duty at the NICU recommended that his son be transported to St. Louis Children’s Hospital as quickly as possible. The doctor had done his residency there and felt confident they could handle his son’s issues. So, when he was four days old, his son was taken to St. Louis by air ambulance. Thankfully, he recovered very well in the NICU at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and after two months they were able to bring him home.
A few months later, Aaron’s family learned that their insurance company had been billed approximately $75,000 for the air ambulance from Joplin to St. Louis. Cigna (his provider) only agreed to pay $10,000, and he and his wife were “balance-billed” the remainder. They have appealed Cigna’s decision at least two times, and are still waiting for some sort of resolution after 17 months. He is a teacher and his wife stays at home with their son, so having a $65,000 medical bill hanging over their heads has led to a ton of anxiety. He not only wants a resolution to this for his family, but he wants this to never happen to another family.
The happiness of being new parents has been forever altered by the financial burden of this medical bill.