Hospital, insurance firm put Covid couple in 10-hour trauma over bill

A senior citizen couple of Delhi faced utterly “horrifying time” for almost 10 hours as a private hospital and an insurance company allegedly delayed clearance of their claims and bill. The couple were tested Covid positive and were undergoing treatment at the hospital.

The patient — 61-year-old Ram Swaroop Chaudhary and his 56-year-old wife Resham Choudhary were tested Covid positive on June 3. The couple, residents of Madangir in Delhi, went to quarantine at Terapanth Bhawan at Chattarpur on June 4. “I was quarantined for a day over there and then started having breathing problems,” Swaroop Chaudhary told IANS. As the couple were unable to get bed in a government hospital, they pulled up a few strings and got twin sharing beds at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on June 5.

“We were asked to deposit Rs 25,000 each and we did. We submitted our health insurance documents with the hospital,” he said. The hospital treated them and they were informed they are now well and have no symptom of Covid. “We were told that we don’t have any Covid symptom after 10 days of hospitalisation,” Chaudhary said.

On June 14, the hospital raised a bill of Rs 4.60 lakh in the morning and asked them to pay, he said. “I was charged Rs 2.52 lakh and my wife Rs 1.87 lakh. I had a disagreement with the hospital over the bill. After protest, the total bill came down to Rs 4.13 lakh,” he said.

Chaudhary then asked the hospital to claim Rs 3 lakh from the insurance company. He alleged that the hospital authorities stated that the insurance company – Paramount Health Care – was willing to clear the bill, however the hospital was not sending documents required in a proper format.

“The hospital was trying to claim top up insurance, and they were not sending base insurance papers. The insurance company rejected the claim. Then I again asked the hospital to send the insurance claims. But they refused and were coerced to pay the bill in cash. We did not have cash,” said Chaudhary adding that he, being annoyed, made a video and uploaded it on a social media platform, which later went viral.

He pointed out that after much protest hospital authorities sent proper documents to the insurance company by 4 p.m. and it was cleared by 6.30 p.m. “Thereafter, we were discharged by 8 p.m. We were really in trauma. It was really a horrifying 10 hours of struggle,” Chaudhary said.

In the meantime, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital authority told IANS: “The patient couple had to wait for their billing clearance due to delay by insurance company in giving clearance. File sent to insurance at 10 a.m., in spite of multiple follow ups by hospital, file was cleared at 6 p.m. by insurance company. Then the file was sent to the ward for discharge at 8 p.m., and the patients were charged as per hospital norms.”

The hospital authorities said that such inconvenience should not have happened.

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