Montana man, 50, hit with $540,842 bill for dialysis after he was diagnosed with kidney failure

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  • Sovereign Valentine, 50, from Plains, MT, diagnosed with kidney failure in 2018
  • He started dialysis in Jan. 2019, and insurance co said it had no in-network clinic
  • The Valentines received medical bills for dialysis that totaled $540,842.90
  • Valentine’s wife contacted the state insurance commissioner that there is an in-network dialysis clinic that hadn’t appear on the insurance directory
  • Fresnius, the clinic where Valentine received dialysis, has offered a 50 percent discount, which lowers the bill to $262,400.08
  • Couple is now considering seeking legal advice, potentially filing for bankruptcy

A Montana man was charged more than $540,000 in medical bills for dialysis after his kidney failed.

Throughout 2018, personal trainer Sovereign Valentine, 50, from Plains, was feeling more and more tired.

After constantly vomiting one day, he drove himself to the local hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with kidney failure, reported Kaiser Health News.

Valentine was told to immediately start dialysis despite his insurance provider seemingly having no in-network clinic.

He and his wife were shocked when they received astronomically high healthcare bills that charged as much as $53,000 for just one session of the life-saving treatment.

‘I was in shock, but I was so weak that I couldn’t even worry,’ Valentine told Kaiser Health News of learning he was in kidney failure. ‘I just turned it over to God.’

Dialysis is needed when someone loses between 85 and 90 percent of their kidney function, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

To keep the body working, dialysis helps perform the function of the kidneys including removing waste, salt and water; filtering the blood so there are enough essential chemicals in the body; and controlling blood pressure.

Valentine received his first dialysis treatment in January 2019 at a nearby hospital before a social worker met with the Valentines.

She said the 50-year-old needed outpatient dialysis three times a week for 14 weeks.


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