Ask Joe: How did hospital co-pay go from $250 to $1,000 ?

      From the Ask Joe File one of our viewers has a question about medical billing at one of our local hospitals.
      Michael, who asked that we not use his last name, wrote in to say his wife works at Renown. When they had a baby three years ago their co-pay for their insurance was $250. This time when they had a baby a few months ago the copay was $1,000. Michael wants to know how there can be such a big increase ?

      Michael sent us a copy of that bill showing the $900 he still owes after an initial payment of $100. I checked with Tiffany East, she works for the PR firm that's employed by Renown. Tiffany says in 2010, Renown's health insurance plan known as Hometown Health, made some changes and offered three different co-pay options that customers could choose from. She says it could be in this case that Michael and his wife chose a plan that did require a higher deductible .
      However, Michael says he hasn't changed anything and that he was told by HHP that Renown has raised the co-pay amount on it's health care plan to $1,000 for an overnight visit. That's an increase of 300 percent.
      Is that true ? That's the question I posed to Renown's PR person earlier this week and then again this afternoon, on Friday August 23rd, she told me she would get me an answer at this point I am still waiting to hear back. I'll let you know what they tell me.