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Am I liable for the medical bill of an uninsured child 19 y/o just because I claim her on my tax return as a dependent child?

Roanoke, VA |

We don't have health insurance and she was very ill a few months back; she applied for financial assistance, they first wrote down 30% and later they reduced the bill a lot more, but the bill is still impossible for her to pay being a college student. During the process of review and after seeing her tax return, they said that I had to provide my financial information because I claim her as my dependent; I provided them with my financial info as they requested and during a meeting they made me sign an application, since then I lost my job (I updated them). She recently got a call from a collector, she then called the hospital and billing suggested that she filed on her behalf and fin/aid said that I need to prove how I am paying for my expenses again; who's right and what should we do?

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Attorney answers 1


Ordinarily a parent is not liable for an adult child's bills unless there is an agreement that the parent signs to co-sign on obligations or bills. This would include possibly signing documents at the hospital agreeing to be personally liable for those bills. It would be important to see any documents from the hospital that might purport to obligate the parent for those bills. It sounds like, from your account above, that you may have signed something agreeing to be liable for the bills. If that is the case, the hospital could certainly pursue you and attempt to obtain a judgment. It would be imperative to look at those documents that you may have signed to see exactly what they say.

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