IfI overpaid hospital bills for one treatment, can the hospital refuse to refund the money to me if I owe bills for another treatment?

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IfI overpaid hospital bills for one treatment, can the hospital refuse to refund the money to me if I owe bills for another treatment?

I got garnished for $6000. After garnishment my insurance ended up paying them what I already paid in garnishment. If I want any money back they said I have to get it back from the hospital and now the hospital won’t give it back to me because I have outstanding bills through collections, even though I’m paying on them. They told me for 4 weeks that my check had been mailed out, and then the 4th week that I called they told me that they aren’t sending the check because Ihave outstanding bills. Can they do this?

Asked on July 11, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Oregon

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here is the math. If you owed let's say $10,000.00 and you were garnished from your bank account $6,000.00 and then the insurance company paid that $6,000.00, without anything else the hospital owes you back $2,000.00. That is because you owed more than the just first hospitalization. Ask for an immediate accounting of what you owed from the beginning of the procedures, surgeries and hospitalizations, how much has been garnished from your wages thus far (and what it went to pay) and how much your insurance paid and what that went to pay. If you still owe money, the hospital does not have to give you back any monies. It actually works better for you because on the credit report, you won't have a second garnishment or lawsuit associated with nonpayment. Now, you can certainly file a complaint with the attorney general or the agency who handles the auditing of such payments. You might consider getting your insurance company involved and informing it that it should have refunded you the money and see if it can reverse the payment it made to the hospital to pay you.


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