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44-Year-Old Woman Thinks She's Figured Out Clever Way to Avoid $65,000 Hospital Bill

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At first, this story might sounds like a horror of injustice by a woman out to defraud the system. A no-good criminal with evil ulterior motives.

But let me ask you, have you been to to the hospital recently? 1 in 10 adults delay medical care from fear of debt. A medical bill of $500 is more than most people can cover.

A Rapid City woman was facing a $65,000 medical bill. Let that number sink in.

No matter what you think of what she did next, that number should help explain her actions. Using a fake name, Debra Sigler sought to avoid her medical debt.

She used the name Debra Moreland to get services. These services included surgery.

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Sigler, who has no insurance, took this course so that she could receive services without the hospital pursuing judgement against her.

It seems like a smart, if somewhat devious, plan to evade costs that she had no way of paying. Her health was on the line and she had few options.

Unfortunately, her ruse didn’t hold up for long. The hospital soon uncovered her plot, and quickly pursued justice.

The state attorney said: Sigler “was a patient at Avera St. Mary’s. She had some surgery and some other medical care there. However, she had those services provided to her under a false name and that being ‘Debra Moreland.'”



When the judge stated her position, asking her if she disagreed that she had, in fact, used a fake name to try to swindle the hospital and get out of paying the fees, she only had two words in response.

“No, sir.” She came clean and admitted what she’d done — what else is there to do when you’re caught red-handed?

Sigler pleaded no contest to a charge of grand theft. She faces up to five years in prison as well as restitution. She was not sentenced at her hearing.

She pleaded no contest, which the state views the same as pleading guilty. I mean, what was she going to say?

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Medical debt is a serious problem in this country. This is a topic that people feel passionate about.



I don’t know if there are any magical cures, so to speak, for this problem. But, as Sigler found out, using a fake name is not the answer.

I think we can all understand the question behind the situation. I hope our communities can come together to make a healthier tomorrow so that people don’t have to come up with such desperate plots.

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