Six years ago, Romy Wightman was diagnosed with colon cancer and accrued over $20,000 in medical bills in just the first three months, and that was with insurance. She thought, “Why haven’t I heard more about this? This must be only happening to me.” When she asked her support group she realized she was far from alone, but no one was talking about it and no one knew where to go for help.
This experience inspired Romy to found the nonprofit Wight Horse with the principal goal to help other patients just like her understand they have options when it comes to their medical debt. With over 20 years professional expertise in healthcare financing and benefits, Romy feels a combined passion and responsibility for deploying Wight Horse to advocate for insured, working class patients that are facing catastrophic medical debt.
As a new nonprofit, Wight Horse has already successfully negotiated medical bills for families in need, even within rigid healthcare systems. After a patient approached them with a $14,000 post-insurance medical bill from the Mayo Clinic, they successfully helped the patient negotiate their bill in half in a matter of days. Romy says all providers are willing to work with you, whether in the form of a payment plan or a negotiated lower cost, but you must ask!
When asked what people should know about medical debt, she said the key is to be your own advocate. Understand why your doctor is ordering specific tests or prescribing certain medications. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, get a second opinion, or suggest alternative solutions. Most of all, nothing is more important than your health. And when it all seems too much, Wight Horse is committed to be your second line of defense.
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