What to do about a medical debt that was sent to collections instead of to the insurance company?

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What to do about a medical debt that was sent to collections instead of to the insurance company?

My son was taken to the ER 2 years ago. They only took information on his vitals and then released him. We had insurance but debt was sold. My son is now being sued for this debt that we thought had been paid, at least partially, by our insurance. I gave the insurance information to the hospital and they said they would send a new bill. We never received any bill. I explained to the debt collection agency that the debt was to be paid by insurance and they refused to take any information or work with me. They have sent a summons taking him to court and want him to pay excessive “lawyer fees” on top of it. What do we do about this?

Asked on August 15, 2011 Colorado

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, do not take these calls from the collection agency anymore. Second, file a complaint immediately against this insurance company with your state's insurance department. Third, file dispute with all credit reporting agencies that show this debt for your son and for you and/or your spouse. Make the collection agency and insurance company prove this debt was done in good faith and that no payment was made due to your own fault....they will lose. Next, continue to contact the hospital's billing department (go in if you have to) and explain with all of the paperwork you have that they better fix this or you will sue them (and your son will too) for ruining his credit by failing to provide any of you notice to pay this bill. If the hospital goofed by failing to properly and timely submit to the insurance company, it will have to eat the bill. Talk to the director of the hospital if you don't see results in a couple of days. Continue on this path and you should see some results. Never, ever, ever, ever accept what a collection agency states to you as truth; its sole purpose is to collect and tack on fees, appropriately or not.


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