How am I considered a guarantor for hospital bill if I did not sign the form? Is this legal?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Circleville, OH

I am currently being sued for a $4000 + hospital bill that I did not sign as the guarantor or anything on. I was not the patient and I did not sign anything. I was only the health insurance policy holder. My soon to be ex wife was the patient and the one who signed as the guarantor on the hospital forms. Also, the hospitals website states that "the patient is the one ultimately responsible for the bills" now why are they suing me? What do I do?

Additional information

I should have stated this is in Ohio and that I did recieve payment for this hospital bill via check from my insurance which I endorsed for the soon to be ex spouse to put in the bank and write the checks to the hospital but instead she endorsed them and spent it (her name was not listed as a payee) ! I know I made the mistake of not writing for deposit only on the check but never expected the spouse would do something like this! I never learned of any of this until I recieved a notice of pending civil action which was one year six months after her date of hospital visit. The only defense I have is that I did not sign anything at the hospital, and that I do have copies of the checks with her signature endorsing the insurance checks and copies of the bank statements. Even though it was a joint account she was the only one that ever used it! Would this second part be a second court case against the spouse?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. William James Waters

    Contributor Level 14
    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Generally, since Ohio is not a community property state, you would not have liability for your spouse's debt, but in the situation you described you would have liability to the hospital since you actually received payment as the policyholder. What your spouse did with the check, or what she should have done, etc doesn't matter. You might have a claim against her for reimbursement. I would suggest consulting with a local civil litigation, or divorce, lawyer for further assistance.

  2. Dorothy G Bunce

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Being or not being a community property state has nothing to do with you being responsible for a medical debts. Why? if you were legally married at the time the "little woman" went for medical treatment, in most states, your marriage vows made you financially responsible for paying her medical debt, whether you agreed or not.

    Remember, those vows said "for better, for worse, in sickness & in health?" That is usually interpreted to mean spouses pay for each others medical debts as long as the marriage is legally binding, even to 1 day before the divorce.

    Hope this perspective helps!

  3. Gary D. Bollinger

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . Take this issue up in your divorce: HIRE an attorney.

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