What to do about returning a check to a hospital that it says was sent to me in error?

UPDATED: Nov 14, 2013

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What to do about returning a check to a hospital that it says was sent to me in error?

I was in a motorcycle accident earlier this year. My boyfriend, who owned the motorcycle and caused the accident that left me with injuries, had full coverage on his bike, and his auto insurer was to cover all of my medical bills. I didn’t have health insurance, at that time, and so one of the emergency rooms I visited gave me a self-pay discount. His insurance paid the full amount of the bill because that’s what they owed. The hospital sent me a reimbursement check for the discounted amount. They are now saying that it was an error and that I have to return the money. Can they do this? Do I have to give it back?

Asked on November 14, 2013 under Business Law, Nebraska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the hospital was in fact paid in full, such as by your boyfriend's insurer, then you are entitled to the refund or reimbursement: the hospital is not allowed to collect more than the actual amount of the bill. The key issue then, is whether they were in fact paid in full for your visit, or whether to pay the full bill, they are entitled to your self-payment amount plus whatever the insurer paid tem.

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