If I just received a medical bill for a date of service over 2 years ago and was never previously billed for this, can the creditor wait this long before asking for payment?

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If I just received a medical bill for a date of service over 2 years ago and was never previously billed for this, can the creditor wait this long before asking for payment?

I already contacted them to see if it was sent in error. However, I was told to pay it or they’d turn it over to collections. I told them I was not acknowledging I owed them anything and would have to look into it. I don’t even have the same insurance anymore. Has it been too long for them to try to bill for something they never billed for at the time it occurred?

Asked on July 1, 2015 under Bankruptcy Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Someone can ask for payment at any time, but they can only do so meaningfully with the statute of limitations, or time period to sue, since after that time period runs out, they can't enforce the debt--once you can no longer sue, the other party can simply ignore you. The converse of that is that while typically people bill sooner rather than later, in order to get payment as soon as possible, you can effectively bill any time up the end of the statute of limitations. In your state, the relevant statutes of limitations (there are at least two that could apply, depending on the exact facts) appear so be at least three years, which means that if three years have not passed, they could certainly seek collection of the debt. Therefore, it appears that they can wait this long to seek payment.


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