Medical Insurance Bills

Truth

Miki Dora status
Jul 18, 2002
5,620
2,136
113
Such a diverse group here so always get some good info

have a friend who has medical insurance but was sick and bills enormous and insurance didnt cover it all so he is left with a huge monthly payment that is almost impossible to pay

what are options available? he is afraid walking away will ruin credit and he will be hounded for life by collection agency

any ideas would be much appreciated - thanks
 

casa_mugrienta

Duke status
Apr 13, 2008
38,136
12,362
113
Petak Island
Are you sure he has insurance? A "huge monthly payment that is almost impossible to pay" would be highly unusual for someone with insurance once their deductible is paid - the hospital would typically negotiate a payment plan.

Why was he hospitalized? That might provide some answers.

 
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Phil Edwards status
Sep 17, 2012
6,785
2,917
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Look into "Charity Care" by Kaiser or any assistance if he has a medical portal where the billing is, and send page 1 of tax returns and bank statements regardless of what he makes, and write a good summary/reason. If it's a non profit hospital, he'll probably get some assistance or the bill zeroed out entirely.
 
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VaB

Michael Peterson status
Nov 14, 2004
2,991
555
113
Virginia Beach, VA
Are you sure he has insurance? A "huge monthly payment that is almost impossible to pay" would be highly unusual for someone with insurance once their deductible is paid - the hospital would typically negotiate a payment plan.

Why was he hospitalized? That might provide some answers.

what Casa said.

also double check the insurance company. they often refuse things or don't pay for things they should. Like he said, once he reaches his max out of pocket that's it. If they are completely refusing to cover anything, find out why and fix or go charity care route. Most hospitals will significantly cut your bill but it's based on income and he'll probably need to provide that.
 

i_ride_spinnaz

OTF status
Aug 19, 2020
282
585
93
i'm guessing he owes the money to the provider due to balance billing. I would contact the provider, and explain the situation. He may have luck saying he has absolutely no ability to pay and negotiating with them to either clear the balance (depends on how much the balance is, and how much insurance has already paid out), or working out some type of payment plan with the provider.

Many providers are happy to work out a payment plan, even a low-payment one. Turning things over to collections costs money. Also, not all providers are pieces of sh!t that want to ruin the relationship and screw over their patients by ruining their credit.

Of course, this may or may not work. I work for a couple of providers, and we are happy to clear balances if the situation warrants it, and we're always happy to work out a payment plan. All of our new patients do sign documents at the start of treatment stating they are responsible for balance billing. If a patient makes no effort to either pay or contact us for a resolution, we're also happy to turn them over to collections.
 
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Woke AF

Kelly Slater status
Jul 29, 2009
9,767
4,919
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Southern Tip, Norcal
Call up the hospital and start begging for a fee reduction.
Good luck with that.

Kaiser emergency room.
Go through their phone system, and they are insistent I go to emergency.
Eventually, go; ask how much $, can't get a straight answer but they say $400.
Ok ... took 15 minutes. Pay them and get another bill for $450.
Call to negotiate they offer 2% discount on the second bill if I pay it then.
Go through the Charity... a big no w/o explanation, while not being able to work during covid. Had all the paperwork.
 

TeamScam

Miki Dora status
Jan 14, 2002
4,917
713
113
Mid-Atlantic
I gotta get my stuff dialed in with work plan because I winged it best I could when I recently went from wife's work plan to my work. After Pandemic period continued slowly going back to Dr as needed and had to pay 95% of all, they said my deductible max out of pocket was I don't even know but it was 1200 1500?$$ I don't know but more than I had planned on spending for a year of light checkups/prescription writing maintenance, on a regular(hopefully) year. No issues really, anyway I guess I'm fuggin clueless cause if by some misfortune I have to spend more than 1500 some year, than there's gonna be another year soon(hopefully).

I used to spend about $500 at the beginning of the year and than a few <6 months after I'd start getting $30 co-pays/visit/issue for the rest of the year. WTF should I do?
Thanks.
 

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Phil Edwards status
Sep 17, 2012
6,785
2,917
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I did Charity Care. They covered about $4-5k (I'm insured) and my bill went from almost $5k to $0. After paying giant balances around $16k, $15k, $4k, and getting buried I said fckit and clicked the Charity Care button.
 

LiamUnknown

Nep status
Jun 16, 2004
902
97
28
It may be balance billing where insurer pays x and then they try to collect from patient for the rest. Balance billing in CA is illegal but they all try it anyway. He needs to get in touch with his insurer and get clear statements of benefits/billing regarding all treatment received in teh last 12-24 months. That will show what insurance paid, what he's responsible for etc. He also needs to figure out what his deductible is. Once deductible is paid all else is covered. If he has a high deductible, he should be able to work out payment plans to enable him to pay off the deductible.

The alternative is filing BK which will wipe it out but will tank his credit for 7ish years.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE