A TikToker named Cailen Easely (@caileneasely) recently went viral after calling out a healthcare facility for charging her a $6,000 deductible on a colonoscopy and only informing her of the charge three days before the procedure.
The video has over 513,000 views and 75,000 likes as of June 20.
why yall aint tell me it 6k months ago 😭♬ original sound – caileneasely
“Y’all, I knew that paying for American healthcare was gonna be expensive, but girl, you could not have prepared me for this,” Easely says in the video.
The TikToker explains that she received a call the day before to confirm her upcoming colonoscopy, which she had scheduled around three months prior. She says the call, only days before the appointment, was the first time she heard from her doctor’s office since scheduling the procedure.
“So she starts talking about how much is gonna be, and I heard her utter the word six,” Easely says. “So I’m like $600? I mean, OK, you know, I’ve paid hundreds of dollars for other, you know, health-like things.”
However, she then reveals that the figure was much greater—10 times greater, in fact.
“Why this lady say $6,000?” the TikToker explains. “So, in my mind, I’m changing the definition of deductible because you can’t be talking about that’s coming out of my pocket.”
Easely says that after raising concerns about the price, the person on the phone told her she would only have to pay $250 that day and she’d pay the rest on the day of her appointment. Before paying, Easely decided to discuss the cost with her mother, who was unsurprised by the high price tag because she was aware of her insurance plan’s high deductible.
Following the discussion with her mother, Easely says she attempted to contact the facility to inform them that she couldn’t pay for the procedure. No one answered, so she left a voicemail.
When the person she initially spoke to finally called back, Easely was met with another shock.
“She proceeds to tell me, ‘Actually, we can’t just take the 250 today. We have to take the whole 6,000,'” the TikToker says. “Ma’am, I can’t do that. … On top of that, because I canceled three days in advance, that’s a $100 fee.”
Easely took issue with the fact that the facility informed her of the cost of the procedure so late, speculating that they knew they would get some money out of her regardless.
“So y’all was gonna get some coin regardless,” she said. “Y’all was gonna get that money regardless. Because why would you call me three days before the appointment saying I gotta find $6,000 to give y’all? That don’t make no damn sense to me. … Girl, when I say that had me so hot. I waited months, months to be able to get the colonoscopy. Girl, that pissed me off.”
In the comments section, one viewer said that they, too, put off their colonoscopy because the medical center wanted thousands of dollars upfront: “I put my colonoscopy off for 3 years bc they wanted 5k upfront. Suffered so long bc they wouldn’t treat me w/o the test. It should be illegal.”
Another commenter was frustrated for Easely: “That’s upsetting because colonoscopy should be covered by insurance . I’m sorry FREN the whole healthcare system is trash.”
The American Cancer Society states that colonoscopies can be covered at no cost to the recipient if they’re done as part of an ordered screening. Additionally, NPR highlighted that preventive health procedures, like colonoscopies, are covered under the Affordable Care Act. Nonetheless, some patients are charged thousands of dollars to have them performed.
Another TikToker who replied to Easely’s post stated that they couldn’t believe the time frame the medical facility gave her to inform her of the cost of the colonoscopy: “they called three days before the procedure & expected you or anyone to pay all $6k?”
Someone else joked that, in addition to not paying for the procedure, they wouldn’t pay the late cancellation fee either: “They wouldn’t be getting that $100 either New doctor please cause they going have to get it back in blood, literally.”
The Daily Dot contacted Easely via email for further comment.