Reddit user kgfromthemv's bother recently fell while rock climbing and broke his neck, back, and ankle. After two operations and a week in hospital, he thought that he'd share the final bill just in case anyone was thinking of doing the same...
The total came out to $367,435.80. And yes, everyone on Reddit was just as shocked as you are.
One commenter wrote, "It would cost you less to raise a new brother from scratch." Another added, "Almost makes you feel like dying was a better option."
A third person noted, "I'd love to see an itemized breakdown of the 'Laboratory Services' when there's just blunt trauma injuries and no real disease pathology. What drugs cost $33K per week? This list of inflated charges is deliberately exaggerated to squeeze more out of the insurance companies."
Thankfully, his parents have good insurance and covered $197,000 of that cost. His brother will end up paying around $1,500 and the other $169,000 was deducted from the bill because the insurer refused to pay it.
And kgfromthemv writes that this doesn't even include ambulance fees, paramedic fees, or fees that individual "specialist" doctors might charge. He says that the ambulance fee is around $5,000 alone, and that his brother might have to pay that.
It's well known that the US has one of the most expensive healthcare system in the world, spending $9,086 per person annually compared to $2,802 per person in the United Kingdom. But this particular bill seems pretty extreme even by those standards, especially considering that $169,000 of the bill was simply cut.
One Reddit user explained why the bill was probably so ridiculous...
"The American Health Care system is complicated. Yes, the bill looks ridiculous. The reason this happens is because health insurance companies continue to reduce reimbursement. In response, the health care providers increase the cost for each procedure to offset the reduction in reimbursement," the individual said.
And of course, people from across the pond can't help but gloat...