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When the hospital is covered, but the doctor isn’t

An emergency room.
An emergency room. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Vox has another installment in its series on emergency room billing, and it's (once again) a doozy. This time, a patient went to an in-network hospital for emergency jaw surgery, but received treatment from an out-of-network surgeon and thus found himself responsible for a nearly $8,000 hospital bill.

Why it matters: Even the most responsible of patients — like this one, who made sure the hospital he was in was in-network before undergoing surgery — are getting stuck between insurers and providers who can't agree on rates, finding themselves on the hook for medical bills that the average person can't afford.