In 2000, I was in the mental health floor of a hospital because of depression reasons. I was told at that time that the insurance I was on then, would cover my hospital costs. Any amount that was left over, would be written off by the hospital, and accepted as payment. In 2001, I started getting letters from the hospital stating that I owed over $1,700 in bills. I kept writing the hospital back and calling them, and explaining things and telling them that I ddin't owe any money. So eventually, the hospital got a credit agency involved. The credit agency kept sending me letters, and I told them the same thing that I told the hospital. After some time, there were periods of time when the credit agency stopped bothering me.
Recently, the credit agency started bothering me again. They told me that if I don't pay the money, that they would try and get my credit involved, meaning they would try and ruin my good correct. I called the credit agency and they said I would need to get a copy of the paperwork from the hospital: that says what was stated about my insurance at the time, covering the costs, and writing off any amount that was left over. I've tried calling the hospital again, and I keep getting referred to another person, and it's like a wild goose chase. One of the person's told me that it's out of the hospital's hands, and that it's through the credit agency now. So I don't know how I'm going to get this thing resolved? I feel like just telling the credit agency to stop bothering me, and not to write me or call me anymore. I don't see why they would wait 5 years to try and ruin my credit? Plus, I don't even owe any of this money. Any suggestions on what I should do? Thanks.
Have you tried approaching this from the insurance side? Contact your insurance company and get them to provide documentation about what they covered at the time and what the hospital should have written off.
Whenever I've found myself in the middle of a billing problem I try to get both sides to provide an explanation. They usually like to blame each other for any screw ups and of course I'm the one left to sort it all out but eventually one or both give me what I need.
Since the hospital seems to have washed their hands of it and dumped it on the credit agency your best bet is you insurance co.
Thanks for your reply. I haven't called the insurance company yet. The problem is, I don't have that insurance company anymore, that I had at the time of the hospital visit. I could call them, but I don't have that insurance card anymore to give any ID numbers. But I assume they would have that info on their computers if I give them my name and social security number. So I'll give that a try.
I really am suprised that during all this time you never once contacted the insurance co about this since it was their obligation.you might have had this all resolved by now.The ins co should have all of your past info on record in there pC system so finding your info should not be a problem.Do you have any of the old papaerwork or the ins manual that actually explained the benefits that you had at that time?It would make things a bit easier if you did.Hope this all gets resolved for you soon.Just be prepared for an insurance run around.if your ins co has someone like mine does,a nurse navigator?They are extremely helpful in navigating through all of the red tape and other crap that you have to deal with.The one at my ins co has saved me many times over the years from running screaming into the streets in utter frustration.if they have someone like that to help you,grab onto them.Good luck,FB
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
Thanks for the reply feelbad. No, I haven't contacted the insurance company during this long time period. I don't think I have any of the old paperwork. I was living with my Mom at the time, and she had held on to that info. But she can't find it. So I will try to contact my old insurance company. If they give me the run around, I'm thinking about going to legal aid, since I'm on a limited income.
Hope I can help, I have worked in hospital billing offices for 16 years and have seen problems like yours before.....
1. Cancel the collection action. To do this you must write a letter to them disputing the amount owed ( the total of everything they are trying to collect from you) state in your letter "I am disputing the total amount owed and do not contact me again regarding this balance" This should cause the agency to return the bill to the hospital and force them to review the case. Hospital billing offices do not like to work on accounts they have transferred out to agencies.
2. Contact the hosital billing OFFICE MANAGER request a review of your account and insist on a follow up date, if you do not hear back from this person call him/her back again. Explain that you were told during your hospital stay that the "insurance would pay and you would owe nothing".
3. Do contact the insurance company (it doesn't matter that you are not still insured with them) they may still be able to assist with the claim.
Be persistant in this as the credit agency can adversly affect your credit report.