Atlanta couple says Mexico hospital won't let them leave until medical debt is paid

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An Atlanta couple said they have not been allowed to leave a hospital in Mexico due to a billing dispute, according to CBS46.

Tori Austin and her fiance Stephen Johnson are in the port city of Progreso, Mexico, after leaving the U.S. on a cruise more than a week ago, according to the TV station.

While on the Carnival cruise ship, Mr. Johnson, 31, went into a diabetic coma and was urged by Carnival Cruise Line to seek medical treatment in Progreso, Ms. Austin told the station. 

But the couple said a billing dispute arose when they were unable to pay $14,000 for Mr. Johnson’s treatment. The hospital demanded the payment before allowing them to leave and is keeping them there, even though they indicated they are open to setting up a payment plan once back in the U.S., the couple told CBS46.

Mr. Johnson does not have health insurance.

Carnival confirmed to CBS46 that one of the cruise ship guests had a medical emergency but said it is "not in a position to comment on the personal matters related to his health or the financial arrangements regarding his treatment."

The cruise line "is providing support," Carnival said.

 

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