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Mystery Medical Costs: The Story of High Medical Bills

Health care in the United States keeps getting more expensive and many Floridians are drowning in medical debt.

“I think it’s a huge deal for people,” said Louisa McQueeney, program director with Florida Voices for Health. “It’s not just the fact that you’re dealing with your own health, now you feel like a financial burden on your family.”

In 2017, U.S. health care costs were $3.5 trillion, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, translating to over $10,000 in health care spending per person. Compare that to just $146 in 1960.

“The cost is just too high,” McQueeney said.

But it’s not just expensive. McQueeney said there is also a lack of transparency for the consumer.

“You never know how much your bill is going to be,” McQueeney said. “You really get no answer as to what the cost might be, it depends on your insurance, it’s like pulling teeth. You’ll never get a straight answer up front as to how much your surgery might cost.”

Between co-pays, deductibles, in-network, or out-of network, it can be confusing for the consumer.

“The system doesn’t want you to know,” McQueeney said.

Over the next months, Contact 5 is going to investigate the cost of your health, highlighting different problems within the system.

We want to make the system more transparent for you and that’s why Contact 5 needs your medical bills.

Send them to us in the form located here.

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