Is it legal for a hospital to collect on a debt that is still pending on a decision from the insurance?

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Is it legal for a hospital to collect on a debt that is still pending on a decision from the insurance?

I have a debt with a hospital but the insurance says it is still open that the hospital has not taken any action in answering their questions. In short the insurance has not denied the claim. It has been about 3 years since this. They have taken the matter to court.

Asked on November 22, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is legal for a hospital to sue you, the patient for an outstanding debt pending a dispute over insurance coverage between it and your insurance carrier for your medical benefits. The reason is that your obligation owed the hospital is separate and distinct as to what reduction in price the hospital will ultimately charge based upon its agreement with your health care provider.

Since you are being taken to court by the hospital, I would immediately advise your health care provider about the lawsuit in writing and request it to provide you with assistance in defending the lawsuit.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is legal for a hospital to sue you, the patient for an outstanding debt pending a dispute over insurance coverage between it and your insurance carrier for your medical benefits. The reason is that your obligation owed the hospital is separate and distinct as to what reduction in price the hospital will ultimately charge based upon its agreement with your health care provider.

Since you are being taken to court by the hospital, I would immediately advise your health care provider about the lawsuit in writing and request it to provide you with assistance in defending the lawsuit.


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