NEWS

Etobicoke Senior Stuck With Almost $10K In Hospital Bills

08/12/2015 10:04 EDT | Updated 08/12/2016 05:59 EDT
Vera Morgan, an Etobicoke senior who served in the Second World War, was stuck with almost $10,000 in hospital bills after a disagreement with her insurance company.

Morgan, 90, had a serious case of the flu in January that landed her in two separate hospitals over a seven week span.

When she finally recovered, Morgan said she weighed less than 90 pounds. But the real shock was the bills from Great West Life, her insurer, that said the company would only pay for half of the $3,600 initial treatment at St. Joe's Hospital and 10 per cent of $8,700 worth of care at Bridgepoint Health.

"I was so sick and yet I was fighting to get up and get dressed to get out of there so bills wouldn't be piling up," Morgan told CBC News about her time in hospital.

Morgan was first treated at St. Joe's Hospital, in Toronto's west end. After improving, she was transferred to a semi-private room, but then got the flu again.

Eventually, Morgan was transported to Bridgepoint Healthcare. Fearing another relapse, her son, Barry Morgan, put her in a private room, knowing full well it may cost more.

Barry Morgan said the disagreements with Great West Life began at Bridgepoint.

"They refused to discuss coverage, they wouldn't tell us what she was covered for," he said.

"They carried on with 'what floor number is she on? What's the actual diagnosis? What's the prognosis?'"

Both Morgans fear that Vera's insurance policy was changed, unbeknownst to her, at some point, which resulted in the massive bills.

Morgan took out all of her savings to pay off more than $7,000 worth of the bills, but said doing so has left her in a "very bad financial situation."

CBC News has contacted Great West Life about Morgan's case, but the company has yet to respond.

Both hospitals involved say they take steps to discuss insurance options with patients.

"I'm not asking for charity," Vera Morgan said. "I'm just asking that I be reimbursed."