It was supposed to be a life-changing experience for the mom and it was until the hospital she was admitted to slapped her with jaw-dropping charges following some minor complications while birthing.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 19, 2021. It has since been updated.
In the United States, health care is treated as a privilege rather than a basic human need that we are all entitled to. Don't agree with me? Just ask Shannon Mayor who was handed a bill for over $50,000 after recently giving birth. It was supposed to be a life-changing experience for the mom, who goes by @shannonmayor on TikTok, and it was until the hospital she was admitted to slapped her with jaw-dropping charges following some minor complications while birthing. "I wasn't expecting the total to be that high," read the caption of the clip Mayor uploaded on the video-sharing app.
She could be seen facepalming as she shows everyone the remarkably high hospital bill total, how much her insurance plan covered it, and how much she had to pay out of her own pocket. In 12 second long video, we see that Mayor's insurance plan namely Blue Cross Blue Shield covered most of the bill leaving her to pay only $250. Although the final amount that she had to pay wasn't as much, viewers were left outraged by the enormous cost of her childbirth procedure before the insurance relief.
It ended up resonating with millions of viewers who pointed at the stark difference in the price of healthcare. One user wrote, "WHAT?! here in the Philippines it only costs like 5-20 dollars WHAT THEY CHARGING THAT MUCH FOR? AIR??" Another wondered, "I can't believe you literally have to PAY to GIVE BIRTH! What if you can't afford it? Do they put the baby back in or??" There were many who wondered why universal healthcare isn't a thing yet. "The fact people still don't believe in universal healthcare in wild. Literally, every other first-world country has it and then there is America."
People were curious about Mayor's insurance company. "Insurance details since I saw a lot of comments asking… this is blue cross blue shield PPO in California. I got it through my old job," she explained in the comment section. In conclusion, Mayor expressed that she was definitely upset about the hospital bill but said, "We had a few complications and I still get sad that I didn't have the birth I hoped for but I'm so grateful for my healthy baby."
I wish we had the liberty to have ourselves examined in hospitals, in the knowledge that the payments will be shouldered by the state - instead of having to endure any illness because we know the medical bills will likely kill us sooner.— ً (@serineblack) November 18, 2021
I wish the government cared.
Now California is one of the most expensive states in the country to give birth. Per CBS, the average of giving birth in California is a whopping $26,380, which is 75% higher than the national average. One of the reasons behind these startling charges has to be its sky-high room and board charges. It is one of only two states to charge over $10,000 for room and board alone.
The fact that there exists a huge difference in price for maternity care in different states of the same country is indeed a shame. Previously the senior vice president of plan development and data operations at Castlight Health, Kristin Torres Mowat, condemned the varying price and said, "The fact that these huge price differences exist for maternity care is deplorable. The price variances seen in both routine and cesarean deliveries reflect the large systemic problems in our nation’s health-care system."
Cover image source: TikTok | @shannonmayor