Jaw surgery takes $27,000 bite out of man’s wallet

Ely Bair had the first surgery, on his upper jaw, in 2018 at Swedish Medical Center, First Hill Campus in Seattle. The surgery was covered by his Premera Blue Cross plan, and Bair’s out-of-pocket hospital expense was $3,000. He changed jobs in 2019 but still had Premera health insurance. In 2020, he had the planned surgery on his lower jaw at the same hospital where he’d been treated the first time. The surgery went well, and he spent one night in the hospital before being discharged. He was healing well and beginning to see the benefits of the surgeries. Then the bill arrived.