Annie Rigg had just had her first child. She was home getting used to life with a newborn when she got “a big-bomb surprise I was not prepared for.”
It was a $8,455 bill from Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash., where Annie had just given birth to son Amos.
Annie and her husband Cody had thought the bill would be much smaller. But now, due to a misunderstanding with their insurance, it looked like they would have to find a way to pay a lot more to the hospital in their hometown.
But thanks to an interview Annie’s mother had heard on NPR, the Riggs’ bill was quickly erased.
Friends had suggested negotiating with the hospital to try and lower the bill after Amos was born, but “that sounded like so much work, and I was already so tired and overwhelmed with everything,” Annie recalls. And she didn’t have enough in savings to pay the bill.
At first, Annie was skeptical when she heard that Dollar For might be able to get her bill reduced or even eliminated. She just figured her family wouldn’t qualify for any possible assistance.
“But I thought, why not,” so she filled out Dollar For’s online questionnaire, and representatives with the nonprofit “were super-responsive and helpful,” getting back to her quickly, she says.
Good news from the hospital also came quickly, within a few days – her would-be payment plan for her bill had been canceled, and her debt was eliminated.
“That was a huge help, and I want to tell everybody and get the word out” about how she was helped by Dollar For, Annie says.
She had worked making croissants, cookies and other specialties for a Portland bakery but had quit before Amos was born. She was on her husband’s insurance at the time of her son’s birth.
The Riggs’ original plan was for Annie to have an all-natural delivery at a birthing center. But they had to change plans after a difficult start to her labor, and she wound up spending three nights in the hospital.
Now, with an energetic Amos in the world and itching to crawl around the house, Annie says all of the hassle was easily worth it.
She just made out a monthly family budget. It includes things like diapers and other baby essentials, “and I’m just so grateful that I don’t have that extra monthly hospital bill – so thanks!”