Teen thought doctor visit would be covered, until he got $1,000 bill

Posted at 6:51 PM, Oct 01, 2019

RICHMOND, Va. -- It’s been a stressful few weeks for Ty Logan, a Richmond high school senior, who received a $1,093 medical bill.

“I’m trying to go to college and I really can’t afford this surprise bill right now,” Logan wrote in his plea for help to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers.

Logan took himself to a Patient First on June 6 with complaints of a sore throat. He was 16-years-old at the time and had his Medicaid provider’s cards in hand. Logan thought the visit would be covered.  One month later, he received a bill for bloodwork performed by LabCorp.

“I was better and then I didn't think any more about it until I got a bill and said, 'oh this wasn`t free,’” said Logan in an interview. “They made it seem like the insurance was okay then (during the visit).”

Logan works hard at his part-time job and immediately took responsibility for the bill by reaching out to LabCorp for a payment plan. When he realized how much of a financial strain the payments would be going forward, he finally asked for help from adults.

The Problem Solvers got in touch with Patient First and LabCorp on his behalf. Neither company found any errors in how they handled Logan’s visit or billing.

It was only when we reached out to the Medicaid provider that we learned his enrollment was not current. When LabCorp attempted to bill the provider, the payment was rejected.

However, Patient First and LabCorp generously offered to forgive Logan’s bill.

“It’s very understandable that a 16-year-old patient would have trouble navigating the health and insurance systems,” a representative for Patient First said in a statement about Logan’s case. The urgent care company noted there are situations under Virginia law where a minor can be seen by a doctor without a parent or guardian present, such as when seeking treatment for STDs or when there is a life-threatening illness or injury. In those cases, the patient may still be financially responsible for his or her treatment.

“After a review of the information that you (CBS 6) provided and the information in our files, we have decided to forgive the balance that Mr. Logan owed, and we will also refund the payment he made to LabCorp. We wish him well,” wrote LabCorp’s Vice President of Corporate Communications.

Logan hopes his story will serve as a reminder to other teenagers who seek medical treatment that they need to double-check their insurance coverage is current. His cards did not include an expiration date and he was unaware his policy had lapsed. Logan has since received medical coverage through another insurance provider.

If you have received a surprise medical bill, let us know here. If we think we can help, we will get in touch and get to work on your bill.