If my mother received a medical care while visiting me from Europe, am I liable for the claim?

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If my mother received a medical care while visiting me from Europe, am I liable for the claim?

She is a permanent resident in Czech Republic. She had a valid health insurance and provided the details to the hospital. When she returned back home she submited her medical expenses to her insurance company to pay. However, they are taking their time and still 6 months later the bill hasn’t been paid. Today I (the daughter) have received a call from debt collectors (I believe the hospital sold the debt to 3rd party) to get their money back. The reason why they have my telephone number and address is because my mother was staying with me and the hospital needed this info to get in touch with me to update me on my mother’s condition.

Asked on December 11, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

One adult is not responsible for another adult's medical expenses, even a parent's, unless he or she agreed to pay them. The fact that she is your mother or was visting you does not require you to pay unless you signed forms (such as when she was admitted) under which you agreed to pay her medical expenses. Often, collections agencies call relatives hoping they will pay because they fear they would be liable; but again, you should not be unless you signed something accepting liability for her care.


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