My husband recently passed away, and now I am getting bills addressed to me, listing me as the responsible party, when we each clearly had our own Guarantor numbers. Some have even gone to collection. Collection says they are bound by the hospital, hospital is literally telling me and collections that they can do what they want and make me responsible just because I am the wife. Neither one of us had ever signed papers giving each other responsibility on the bills , and we each had our own insurance also. How can I fight this, and what agency can I report them to for this act ?
Illinois has a Family Expense Act which makes one spouse liable for the reasonable and necessary medical bills of the other. Under federal law each spouse can contract for credit on their own. However most medical expenses are not the result of the patient contracting to obtain credit, Elective or planned procedures may be. So you may be liable. You need to have an attorney who defends collection cases examine the bills and facts, including the explanations of benefits. It should not cost you anything to consult (at least that is our practice).
A hospital is required by Illinois law to give you a payment plan and bankruptcy is always an option.
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