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Woman forced to put family home for sale after receiving massive medical bill when her mother died
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Alicia Wieberg / Getty Stock Images

Woman forced to put family home for sale after receiving massive medical bill when her mother died

She's questioned why it has to be a decision of 'what you can afford or not afford'

A woman has spoken out after being hit with an extortionate bill after her mom died meaning she's been forced to sell the family home.

Last year, Alicia Wieberg's mom Debra Prichard received hospital treatment after suffering a stroke and several aneurysms.

Sadly, she ultimately ended up passing away at the age of 70 on 31 October, 2023 and shortly after her death, Alicia was hit with an eye-watering medical bill.

Debra was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Google Maps

After suffering a stroke and several aneurysms, Debra - who was signed up to health insurance Medicare Plan A - was in need of being seen and treated by brain specialists so was rushed from her local hospital in Tennessee to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville via helicopter ambulance.

The service provider of the helicopter ambulance which flew her from Tennessee to Nashville was Med-Trans Corp - part of Global Medical Response.

After her mom passed away, the company issued Alicia with a bill for a sum of a whopping $81,739.40.

But why was the bill so high given the No Surprises Act of 2020?

The medical bill came to over $81,000.
KFF Health News

The No Surprises Act of 2020 'guarantees that consumers’ costs are limited to in-network cost sharing and bans providers from sending patients balance bills for any amounts beyond that cost sharing' - including when patients use 'ambulance emergency transport services'.

However, Debra had signed up to Medicare Part A, not Medicare Part B. Medicare Part A is offered to Americans over the age of 65 for free, however you have to pay premiums for Medicare Part B - around $175 per month, Alicia says.

According to, Medicare Part A hospital insurance covers 'inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility, hospice, lab tests, surgery, home health care'.

Debra had signed up to Medicare Plan A but not Plan B.
Getty Images/ Michael Siluk/ UCG/ Universal Images

It's only with Medicare Part B that you have cover for 'doctor and other health care providers' services and outpatient care'.

"Part B also covers durable medical equipment, home health care, and some preventive services," it adds.

Although, Alicia tells KFF Health News: "Anybody past the age of 70 is likely going to need both. And so why make it a decision of what you can afford or not afford, or what you think you're going to use or not use?"

Director of the federal Center for Medicare, Meena Seshamani tells KFF Health News there are 'resources available to help compare Medicare coverage choices and learn about options to help pay for Medicare costs' - such as free counseling offered by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program in Tennessee.

Alicia is having to sell the family home to cover the medical bill.
Pexels/ Pixabay

Alicia sent requests to the air-ambulance company and Medicare for a reduction in the bill, however Global Medical Response later filed a legal claim against her mother's estate for the entire amount.

Alicia has since been left with no other option but to sell the family home in which Debra lived for nearly 50 years and where Alicia was raised.

A spokesperson for Global Medical Response, Nicole Michel, told KFF Health News if Debra had signed up to Medicare Plan B the charge would've been limited to less than $10,000 - when taking into account the No Surprises Act.

She added: "Our patient advocacy team is actively engaged with Ms. Wieberg's attorney to determine if there was any other applicable medical coverage on the date of service that we could bill to.

"If not, we are fully committed to working with Ms. Wieberg, as we do with all our patients, to find an equitable solution."

UNILAD has contacted Medicare and Global Medical Response for comment.

Topics: Health, Money, Parenting, US News