Life-saving decision costs Ponca City couple thousands

PONCA CITY, Okla. – In March, 49-year-old Steven Carroll had a stroke while at work. His job called an ambulance that ended up taking him to Alliance Health in Ponca City.

Carroll's wife, Crystal, was there when the ambulance took her husband to the hospital. She was not only worried about her husband but also because they have GlobalHealth Insurance and Alliance Health is out of network.

Crystal said she called GlobalHealth to ask what she should do and they told her everything was fine because it was a life or death situation.

“She talked to a supervisor, came back on and said don’t worry about it,” Crystal said. “It’s a medical emergency, your husband’s life is more important, we are going to take care of this.”

Crystal said she called back a second time to confirm they did not need to transfer her husband to an in-network hospital and, again, she was assured they were covered but after they got out of the hospital a few days later she said their answer changed.

“They offered to pay a percentage of what they said would have been comparable if we would have stayed in-network,” Crystal told News 4. “Under $8,000.”

Now, Crystal and her husband are left with more than $22,000 of medical bills.

After multiple attempts to reach GlobalHealth, Cynthia Townsend, the director of marketing ad communications sent us this email:

"GlobalHealth is committed to providing accurate, transparent and timely information to members regarding billing questions and issues. The company has recently been made aware of the billing issue in question and quickly has resolved it by working with the member and healthcare provider. As a policy, GlobalHealth aims to provide strict confidentiality with each member, so specific details will not be discussed. However, it is GlobalHealth’s mission to deliver the best healthcare coverage in the industry and earn the satisfaction and confidence of those we serve."

Crystal said that’s not true and she plans to keep fighting until the issue actually gets resolved.

“What you said was it was covered, focus on my husband, it's a medical emergency, and I'm holding you to it,” she said.

Crystal said her husband is doing well and back at work. They plan on filing a complaint with the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

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