3 On Your Side

Phoenix woman billed $300 for $30 brace

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV) (Source: 3TV)
(Source: 3TV) (Source: 3TV)
(Source: 3TV) (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Linda Esser does quite a bit of heavy lifting. Between hefting textbooks at home and office files at work, Esser said her wrists endure an unusual amount of strain. That strain has taken its toll.

"There was a time there when I couldn't lift hardly anything," Esser said. "I would have to use my other hand."

When movement eventually became painful, Esser went to an urgent-care facility. The doctor there gave her a simple-looking wrist brace to wear for relief.

Esser said she thought her health insurance would cover at least part of the cost for the brace.

Even if her insurance didn't cover it, Esser wasn't worried.  She did not think a basic brace could be too expensive.
 
Nearly six months after getting that brace, Esser said she learned her insurance company would not pay for the brace. She was being required to foot the bill, and it wasn't a small bill.

"Never in my life did I think it would cost this much and I'm being charged for it," she said.

The company that manufactures the brace is called Breg. It wanted Esser to pay $300.

Shocked, Esser went online to do some research. It wasn't long before she found a Breg wrist brace identical to hers for sale on Amazon and other sites for less than $30.

Esser contacted Breg to find out why she was being charged $300 when the same brace could be found for a fraction of that price. 

"I called the company up, and they told me they could reduce the amount owed by $40 and could make it $260, and I'm like, there's not much difference there at all," she explained to 3 On Your Side.

Esser questioned why she would pay $260 when the same brace is less than $30 on various websites.

She contacted 3 On Your Side and we contacted Breg.

A representative looked into the matter and in an email stated, "... as a matter of goodwill, we have adjusted your (Esser's) balance to $0."

That means Esser can forget about that $300 bill; she won't have to pay anything.

Esser said she couldn't have done it without 3 On Your Side. 

"Well, when I got the bill for $300, I was like 'This is ridiculous.  I can't afford that.'  I did not have that kind of money," she said. "And in the end, it was a huge relief and a weight off my shoulders.  I can breathe easier now."

Copyright 2015 3TV (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Recent 3 On Your Side storiesMore>>

  • 3 On Your Side

    Smart devices: Do you own what you buy?

    Smart devices: Do you own what you buy?

    Saturday, February 4 2017 9:52 AM EST2017-02-04 14:52:25 GMT
    Consumers are app crazy, and not only to control temps or lights. They're unlocking doors and maybe even seeing what's inside the fridge. (Source: Alexander Kirch via 123RF)Consumers are app crazy, and not only to control temps or lights. They're unlocking doors and maybe even seeing what's inside the fridge. (Source: Alexander Kirch via 123RF)

    "Oftentimes, the companies that make these products insist that even though you might own the physical object, you don't own the software code inside of it," he said. "And that code is really fundamental to the operation of those products."

    More >

    "Oftentimes, the companies that make these products insist that even though you might own the physical object, you don't own the software code inside of it," digital rights specialist and author Aaron Perzanowski said. "And that code is really fundamental to the operation of those products."

    More >
  • 3 On Your Side

    Viewing the solar eclipse: The blind truth

    Viewing the solar eclipse: The blind truth

    Wednesday, August 16 2017 1:20 AM EDT2017-08-16 05:20:27 GMT
    And if you don't buy solar eclipse glasses that are approved, you could have a big problem. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)And if you don't buy solar eclipse glasses that are approved, you could have a big problem. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    If you don't buy solar eclipse glasses that are approved, you could have a big problem.

    More >

    If you don't buy solar eclipse glasses that are approved, you could have a big problem.

    More >
  • 3 On Your Side

    Glendale couple says gym charged them for personal training they never signed up for

    Glendale couple says gym charged them for personal training they never signed up for

    Tuesday, August 15 2017 2:51 AM EDT2017-08-15 06:51:59 GMT
    Daniel Ramirez and his wife said they were charged for personal training sessions they didn't sign up for. (Source: 3TV)Daniel Ramirez and his wife said they were charged for personal training sessions they didn't sign up for. (Source: 3TV)

    A Valley man joined a gym to get in shape. Instead, he says it's his wallet that got a workout.

    More >

    A Valley man joined a gym to get in shape. Instead, he says it's his wallet that got a workout.

    More >
  • Social Connect

  • Contact

    AZ Family
Contact 3 On Your Side