Topic: Hospital sent my bill to collections...

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues — Employment, insurance, and financial concerns are common. Meet others here to discuss and for support.

Posted on: Dec 1, 2010 05:34PM

Posted on: Dec 1, 2010 05:34PM

calamtykel wrote:

My insurance paid most of my hospital stay/mastectomy -- I got billed $1600 towards my deductible.  I had applied for a breast cancer fund that helps with co pays and was waiting to hear back.  Meanwhile, other bills came in -for the surgeons, radiology, labs for the biopsies, port placement, plus copayments for the chemo, etc. 

We sent the hospital $100 and sent the other places $$ as well.  But now the hospital sent the bill to collections and they say we have to pay it in full immediately to prevent further action.  Has this happened to anyone?  We have four kids - my husband hasn't had a raise in 2 years and they took his overtime away at work.  :(  And our benefits costs just went up this month.   We just do not have this $$. 

Meanwhile, the breast cancer copayment fund contacted us and said the fund is closed to overwhelming demand.  Not sure why they initially told me to apply and made me send all our info in, etc......  

anybody else in this or similar boat?

"But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matt. 14:28 Dx 6/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2010 12:46PM 3monstmama wrote:

Take a deep breathe.  While its too bad that you weren't able to negotiate with the hospital on the debt before they sent it out, its not the end of the world.  First, remember that the collection agency typically buys your debt for pennies on the dollar.  This means negotiation is possible--either for a flat amount [usually the best] or for a payment plan.  You will have to convince them that you have a problem with paying but I would doubt you are the first cancer patient they will have dealt with.  Are you a member of a credit union?  They will often give loans at a good interest rate that you can pay back over a longer time.  The last resort would be putting it on a credit card.  Try to avoid that as the interest rates on credit cards are pretty awful.  For more tips on dealing with debt check the website for the Federal Trade Commission  www.ftc.gov

Hang in there!

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
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Dec 2, 2010 01:09PM Bren-2007 wrote:

Yes ... our hospital turned us over to court .. we were served subpoenas twice.  I finally had to use my credit card to pay the bill or go to court.

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Dec 4, 2010 10:52AM Kitchenwitch wrote:

We had a hospital sent to "collections" but it turned out to be another department within the hospital - not an actual outside collection agency. 

Something else to look into. I heard - and I admit this is not completely substantiated - but I've heard that once a hospital or medical provider accepts a certain monthly sum toward a bill, they have to keep accepting that monthly sum. Was your $100 check cashed? 

 Have you considered contacting your state insurance commissioner for help? 

Best wishes (and take a deep breath) 

Dx 11/31/2009, DCIS, Stage 0
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Dec 4, 2010 01:08PM - edited Aug 20, 2013 03:19AM by mrsnjband

Isn't it terrible that we have to fight for our lives & then fight over our bills.

This is what I do. 

1. It doesn't really matter if they send it to collections or not.  I don't deal with collection agencies!  As long as you pay a small amount on your bill there isn't too much they can do. I do not send money to collection agencies either. I pay directly to whom the bill is owed. (this drives them them crazy)

2. First I call whom every I owe the money to, tell them how much I can afford to pay. I never over commit myself on an amount.  At one point in time, I was writing more than 20 checks a month.


We still owe a very large sum of money for all my husband's ct scan from  his cancer.  They get $10 a month on each account.  I have heard that as long as you send them $1.00 a month then they can't do anything.

Kitchenwitch stated, that a lot of times it's not a "real" collection agency but they sure make it sound like they are. One thing I tell them is: Hey look, I'm trying to do the right thing here and my bill, this is what I can afford. 

We can't use credit cards because we were already maxed out from hubby's cancer. 

You have to stand your ground, don't let them bully.  I hope this is helps. NJ

Norma June, Bi-lateral MX 2008, Bi-lateral DIEP 2011 Dx 1/10/2008, IBC, <1cm, Stage IIIB, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/24/2008 AC Chemotherapy 3/9/2008 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 5/28/2008 Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/9/2008 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/10/2008 Surgery 8/14/2011 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 8/14/2011 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery 12/11/2011 Reconstruction (left)
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Dec 4, 2010 01:20PM Medigal wrote:

I don't know how it is in the city and state you live in but I have always heard that as long as you send in whatever amount on the bill, they can't send you into collections.  If you are doing your best to pay whatever amount you can afford each month and they keep harassing you, I would call the Attorney General's Dept. of my State and let them know what is going on and find out what your rights are for the state you live in.  If you are elderly, there are many organizations who help the elderly understand what their rights are in a situation like this. If you are not elderly call an organization which gives out information and find out what your rights are.  The reason they threaten people with "Collection Agencies" is because they know these people do not know what their rights are under your conditions.  I do hope you find the right agency to help you.  Best of luck!

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Dec 22, 2010 05:21PM - edited Dec 22, 2010 05:22PM by Teild

They CAN always sue BUT oftentimes all they get is a worthless judgment, costs and attorney fees, so if you pay something, lots of times they won't.  If they do sue, DENY THE CLAIM.  Oftentimes they cannot prove the debt because they don't have the paperwork.  And you can always challenge hospital charges as UNREASONABLE.

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