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Can a hospital send you to collections if you are paying a portion of your bill every month?

West Bend, WI |

I have a remaining medical bill of about $3,000 from last April when I had my twin boys, one of which spent about a week in longer in the hospital. I have been paying what I can afford, $50 a month on the bill since. Just this month I received a notice that I would be sent to collections if I did not pay the remaining balance in full by the end of the month. I called the hospital to talk with their financial advisers multiple times before they settled on a $300 monthly payment as "the best they could do" - this is still too much for me to afford a month - and they said if I didn't keep up with these payments I would be sent to collections. Can they do this? If I have been paying this whole time and paying what I can - can they actually send me to collections?

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Filed under: Bankruptcy
Attorney answers 1


They can "send you to collections", but you are doing the right thing. Keep sending the money and keep records. Find out if your insurance paid them, or if they were paid by Medicare. If that happened, you may not owe them anything but your deductible! Why? If the hospital had a contract with an insurer, or was paid by Medicare, they have to accept what insurance or medicare pays them. They can't charge you on an inflated bill already reduced by Medicare or an insurance contract. If you start asking them that, and contact your insurer or Medicare, you might put an end to this problem. Of course, if you had not insurance or Medicare, just keep working on the balance and don't worry: if they sue you, you can tell it to the judge who will give you payment arrangements.