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Overdue Medical Bill

Written by Nickel - 7 Comments

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Upon returning home from our vacation last week, we were greeted by a ‘seriously overdue’ medical bill stemming from one of my kids’ visits to the doctor a few months ago. Somehow this bill managed to slip through the cracks, and we were probably about a week away from having a $6.50 charge sent out for collection. What a bummer that would have been. Anyway, I called the business office this morning and got everything taken care of. The frustrating thing is that this bill was from the same medical center where I had my wisdom teeth extracted, and they’ve been sitting on close to $700 of ours for the past seven months. But can I send their debt out for collection? No, of course not. I had to fight with them for months before they relented, and I’m now still waiting for the refund check. Very frustrating — and because they bill for each patient separately, rather than having a single account for our family, this charge didn’t just go against the credit that I’ve had on my account.

Published on December 13th, 2005 - 7 Comments
Filed under: Insurance

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Why can’t you send out for collection? They owe you the money. Send them an invoice stating that you need your refund check and if not that you will send it for collection. You won’t be able to keep the entire refund, but you’ll at least get your money.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 13th 2005 @ 8:20 am
  2. Yikes! I bet discovering that bill got your heart rate up a bit. Just thinking about it has mine on the rise. It’s scary how easy it is for medical bills to be sent to collections and the resulting credit damage is huge. What a nightmare!

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 13th 2005 @ 1:27 pm
  3. Collections for a $6.50 bill? How much would the collection agency charge to serve that? How is that good business? I doubt they’d bother. Collections for $650.00, now you’re talking.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 14th 2005 @ 9:37 am
  4. It’s hard to say whether or not $6.50 would actually be sent out for collection. It’s a pretty big medical center, so it seems likely that they have a contract with a collections agency that is obligated to take whatever is sent their way. To be honest, I have no idea. However, the threat was on the latest bill, and I have no interest in finding out the hard way.

    Comment by Nickel — Dec 14th 2005 @ 9:52 am
  5. I would take that as a sign to switch health care providors.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 14th 2005 @ 9:58 am
  6. I narrowly avoided that once by just a day or two. I was young and dumb and got caught between the insurance company and the surgery facility. Now I am so anal about medical bills!

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 14th 2005 @ 10:31 am
  7. That is funny… I never pay any medical bill until after about 90 days no matter what anyone states in a letter. Why? Because the insurance company I deal with consistently underpays my claims so I enter into a dispute with just about every claim. Usually takes 30 days to send notice, 30 days for them to send back notice then another 30 days for an appeal. Then after it’s finally sorted out, I pay the real difference that is due.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 15th 2005 @ 1:00 pm

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