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    milkmanswife's Avatar
    milkmanswife Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Sep 30, 2005, 11:43 AM
    Hospital bills
    My hubby suffered a heart attack in August, 04. We had health insurance but our hospital co-pay is 4 grand. We never received a bill from the hospital. In the winter we lost our heat for 4 days and became sick & a very mean, ignorant young lady from a collection agency phoned us and demanded my husband borrow money from family members to pay the bill, He nearly ended back up in the hospital after the call as she would nnot believe we hadn't received any bills. We went to the hospital directly the following business day and started making weekly 25.00 payments was all we could afford. A clerical worker there helped us by saying the hospital didn't handle the billing anymore and the local office gals lost their jobs to temps. We faithfully took our 25 per week in, until last week she told hubby we had to deal with this agency. Last week a worker called him from the agency and went over our bills and told him we only had to pay 25.00 monthly. Today I got a nasty threatening call from them again wanting 100.00 per week. We can't afford this or the harassment with his heart & my fibromyalgia. They never, ever sent us a bill to begin with. They are very rude and today threatened court and I just hung up after she rudely told me I was being recorded. What can we do to stop the harassment, when they never presented us with a bill in the firsat place. Had they in the beginning we would have started paying immediately, but who has an extra 4 grand sitting in there account anymore. :eek:
    Chery's Avatar
    Chery Posts: 3,666, Reputation: 698
    Gone, But Not Forgotten

    Sep 30, 2005, 01:33 PM
    So sorry to hear about your plight. Nobody I know of today has that much money 'stashed' away for those 'rainy days' And with micromanagement and changeover of people in jobs, they all try to do what they are told in order to keep them. I you have a recorder, or can borrow one from a friend, or if you have an answering machine with tape, record those abusive conversations in the future because you will probably need them when the collection company takes this issue to court. Is there any way at all that you can get a statement from the hospital as to when the 'first' bill was sent to you? If they cannot prove this, then you might have a 'leg to stand on' so to speak. The world today is ruled by money and can be very cruel. What is your medical insurance like? If you are not satisfied with it a friend sent the following link for information which might help you choose another.

    I remember that way back in the 70's a Kennedy tried to introduce 'socialized medical plans' to the public and the people in California were so ignorant they voted against it because they associated it with socialism, which is totally different, but ignorance can be terribly damaging, and now they are paying for it.

    I sincerely wish you and your husband well and hope there is someone on this forum with legal knowledge that can give you some advice on what you can do. I know it sound like a broke record, but unfortunately the world is not the same as it used to be and only money rules and we are not the only ones with problems... But when problems are close to home, it hurts more. Good Luck.
    milkmanswife's Avatar
    milkmanswife Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 1, 2005, 02:40 AM
    Thanks for your reply Chery. I did ask the hospital to give me a print out on everything and they did but I never thought to ask about when did you send a bill? Great idea! My husband is going down to the hospital on Monday. We only owe like 1,500.00 at this time and I can't believe the abuse we are getting! My husband works for a sub contractor at Dow chemical. His work is very dangerous as he hauls toxic chemicals around the Dow property all day. I wish I could mention the very large corporations name here that he works for lmbo! The insurance and the pay is so very bad for the type of job he has. It keeps him from going over the road in the health condition I am in. Our health insurance is cigna and the amount the company gives our men is a very sad coverage. Your right about the Kennedy thing. I lived in Australia for 2 yrs before and they have free health care. I received some of the best medical care while living there. Yet we are fortunate as there are so many without insurance here now. Again thanks for the reply and I am going to check on that recording thing. I did get half of it recorded yesterday lol! :D
    Chery's Avatar
    Chery Posts: 3,666, Reputation: 698
    Gone, But Not Forgotten

    Oct 1, 2005, 02:49 AM
    Glad I was able to help a little, Good Luck. P.S. I live in Germany and have 'socialized medical care', but things are getting pretty bad here too, like all over the world, but such is life. One of the reasons I'm stuck here is due to my illnesses, and I would not survive the bills in the States either.
    sideoutshu's Avatar
    sideoutshu Posts: 225, Reputation: 23
    Full Member

    Oct 5, 2005, 05:33 AM
    Use the internet to type "fair debt collections practices act" into a search engine. You will be able to pull up the text of the act and find out exactly how far creditors can go to collect a debt. There are specific times within which they must call(not too late or too early) a limit as to what types of "threats" they can make, etc. Look it over and figure out if they are acting within their rights.

    Whether the hospital sent you a bill or not, you are still going to owe them the money. Depending on what your credit situation is and whether you are concerned about your credit score, you may be able to negotiate with the collection agency and get a significant reduction in the amount owed. For example, perhaps if you offered to pay 2500 immediately in full satisfaction of the debt. These collection agencies are a business, and they don't get paid unless they get money out of you.
    Chery's Avatar
    Chery Posts: 3,666, Reputation: 698
    Gone, But Not Forgotten

    Oct 5, 2005, 05:56 AM
    How true, I worked for a collection agency in California, and quit after a few months due to the way they 'had' to treat some people.

    That was good advice..

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