3 On Your Side

UPDATE: Tolleson woman avoids $1,500 hospital bill; removed from collections

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

Erika Reyes says it feels like a weight has been lifted off her shoulders.

"I'm relieved and happy. I mean, I've been telling my whole family and they all say, 'We are so happy for you,'" a smiling Reyes said.

All that stress, she says, centered around a $1,574.90 hospital bill from Banner Estrella Medical Center. It's a bill she won't be forced to pay now.

"It's kind of disappointing that I had to go to the next level and go to 3 On Your Side to get this thing taken care of," she said. "I mean, I just couldn't do it one on one with the hospital."

The bill stems back to 2013 when Reyes says she felt really strange and eventually had a friend take her to a hospital emergency room.

Reyes said when she was admitted, she filled out the necessary paperwork and handed over her insurance card.

However, a month later, when she went to collect her mail, she received a bill from Banner Estrella Medical Center for $1,574.90, an amount that sounded way too high and incorrect.

So, she immediately took the bill and her insurance card to the billing department of Banner Estrella to sort things out.

"The billing lady asked me for my insurance card and she was inputting the number and she was like, 'Oh, we missed a number,'" Reyes said.

The billing representative went ahead a put in the correct insurance number. Reyes said she thought the issue had been corrected and that the amount had been paid by her insurance company.

That is until two years later when Reyes recently went to her mailbox to find that the $1,574.90 amount has been sent to a debt collector.

3 On Your Side got involved and asked Banner Estrella to investigate and it did.

They discovered they had made a mistake and apologized, saying in an email, "Once we determined a billing error had, in fact, occurred, we corrected her account information and formally requested that all three credit reporting agencies correct the information in her credit files."

Reyes said she's thrilled 3 On Your Side kept her from having to pay a bill she wasn't responsible for and that the mistake is off her credit report.

"Well, I've been dealing with this for months now, but it took Gary Harper to resolve it in just a week," she said.

Banner was great to work with and 3 On Your Side certainly appreciates the hospital looking into the issue at my request and resolving it.

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