I ran up a $1,053 medical bill in the ER back in Jan 2008 -- this is in the state of Georgia.
I got one bill, one month later.
I decided to wait a bit, thinking insurance might kick in more.
No other bill ever came -- just this one.
Today, I got a notice from the collection agency to which it has been handed.
1) Can I be handed over to a collection agency, if just ONE bill has been sent to me?
I do understand a lot of time has gone by. I thought I would get another notice, however.
2) Can I still handle this through the hospital -- can I ask them to drop the collection agency?
Personal Injury Lawyer
My suggestion is to contact the hospital right away and explain to them what has transpired and that you are willing to work out a payment plan with them as long as they willing to remove you from the collection agency. You did not state whether this was from an accident. Check your automobile policy for PIP and/or med pay coverage if this was the result of an automobile accident. If you got hurt on someone else's property they may have medical payments coverage which would pay your bill. Good luck! Jeannette Congdon
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
If insurance paid part of the bill, there may also be a corresponding write-off depending on the hospital's contract with your insurance company. You should contact your insurance company to make sure they have paid all that they should have paid and that the hospital has written down the bill appropriately.
Once you are satisfied that the amount owed is accurate, you can still negotiate the balance with the hospital directly if they will allow it, or with the collection agency if they will not.
The fact that a collection agency has the account does not necessarily mean that it is "in collection". It may be in "pre-collection" status which usually will not be reported on your credit. Once the account is resolved, be sure to check your credit report for any adverse notations regarding the account. If so, make sure the account is recorded as paid.
Steven I. Goldman
GOLDMAN & ASSOCIATES
The Equitable Building - Suite 2020
100 Peachtree Street, N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 577-9556 (fax)
Personal Injury Lawyer
Many hospitals have programs where they will write off bills or portions of bills for qualifying patients. You will have to contact the hospital billing department to determine whether you qualify. Typically patients that qualify do not have health insurance. The hospital will probably want you to fill out an application and provide your monthly expenses and your earning information.
If that does not work, consult with a consumer rights lawyer. They may be able to negotiate with the collection agency to work out a favorable settlement of this medical debt.