How can I fight collections over a medical bill that should be paid by insurance?

UPDATED: Jan 17, 2011

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How can I fight collections over a medical bill that should be paid by insurance?

We have AZ Medicaid and my husband broke his leg in NM. He had to be treated there because of his health. We gave our insurance information at the hospital and they said nothing, after the fact we found out that the hospital would not accept our insurance and have turned us into collections. The insurance wants to pay it, but he hospital refuses to get contracted so they can receive the check. There is no way we can pay the mere $21,000. We are low income and have government assistance for a reason. We don’t qualify for NM help because we are not residents and this is ruining our credit.

Asked on January 17, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It really is not Medicaid that is the problem here is it?  It is the private hospital that refuses to do what is necessary for the bill to be paid.  I think that you should go and seek help from legal aid if you qualify (and it seems like you will) and speak with them about bringing a suit against the hospital and the collections agency regarding the matter.  The only way that the hospital may comply is to be told that they must by a court.  They will not ignore a court order to do so.  This was an emergency situation and the hospital had an obligation to treat you.  They also had an obligation to advise you at the time of the treatment that they did not accept your insurance, but I am sure that they gave you somehting to sign that indicated that you would be financially responsible in the event that your insurance was not taken.  This is a mess, though, that needs to be sorted out.  Good luck.    

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