A Wisconsin woman went into cardiac arrest at home and was rushed to a nearby hospital that saved her life - the only problem was the hospital was out of her network.
Megan Rothbauer, 29, went into cardiac arrest at work in September 2013 and was rushed to the hospital after she fell unconscious.
An ambulance rushed her to the nearest hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, even though it was out of her insurance network.
"When you're looking at saving a life, you're not looking at whether or not you can save them money," said Cyn Gunnelson, manager for Managed Care Contracting for the Wisconsin region of SSM Health Care, to WISC-TV. "I can only do so much. The hospital can only do so much. And I think the best outcome is the person walked away from the emergency room."
Rothbauer is thankful for the care she receives - saying she owes part of her life to the doctors - but she's much less pleased with the $300,000 worth of hospital bills being sent to her home.
The woman's biggest frustration is that an in-network was only three blocks away from St. Mary's, which would have only cost her $1,500.
"I was in a coma. I couldn't very well say, 'Hey, take me to the next hospital,' It was the closet hospital to where I had my event, so naturally the ambulance took me there." Rothbauer told WISC-TV.
Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rothbauer's insurance company, agreed to pay what it would have if Rothbauer was treated at an in-network hospital - $156,000. St. Mary's Hospital also reduced her bill by $90,000 (90 percent of the expenses of their services), the TV station reported.
This leaves Rothbauer with $40,000 to pay herself, which was the portion of the money that would be paid to doctors, reports CBS News.
Rothbauer is still unhappy and wishes the doctors and insurance company could do more to help her.
"She did everything right," University of Wisconsin health care advocate Meg Gaines said to CBS News. "There isn't anything else she could have done except don't have a heart attack maybe, but I think that's why we buy insurance."
Rothbauer and her soon-to-be-fiance Ben Johnson are forced to hold off getting married until her economic situation is figured out.
"It's devastating for people who plan, who get insurance, get coverage, do everything they can and then, at 29, have a heart attack and get taken to the wrong hospital, and can't get married, can't do anything because they have to declare bankruptcy because they can't afford to have gone to the hospital," Rothbauer said to WISC-TV. "I mean, it's not enough to worry about having a heart attack at 29, you end up with a secondary one or a stroke because of your medical bills. I mean, it's just ridiculous. The level of frustration is astronomical."