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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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My question concerns medical claims liability for a legal age

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My question concerns medical claims liability for a legal age child. We currently carry medical insurance for our 18 year old daughter. We live in Iowa and she has moved to Utah and has recently had some expensive medical bills from an emergency room, ambulance ride and behavioral therapy facility. We did not know about any of these things until after they had occurred. We did not sign anything and were not notified of any medical procedures before hand. We recently received a statement from our medical insurance carrier that showed the charges from the behavioral facility. The insurance company sent us a check in our name for around $2200. The total bill was approx. $6400. We signed the insurance check over to the behavioral facility and have mailed it to them. Since our daughter has no job and no way of paying back any medical bills, we are concerned that they will try to collect the remaining $4000 from us. If we receive any bills for her treatment are we legally liable? She claims that she signed all the medical paperwork, but we aren't sure if she put our names down as the persons responsible for paying the claims. So far we have not received any bills from the hospital, ambulance or behavioral facility. Going forward, should we drop her from our medical coverage policy to financially protect ourselves? We have called the insurance company to ask them about this, but they say it is a legal question. We also asked them if they could put any kind of advance notice requirement before treatment on the policy and they said that isn't possible. Thank you in advance for your legal advice and direction!

TexLawyer :

Good morning. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

Since daughter is legally an adult she and only she is responsible for paying her medical bills, no matter who is the primary insured of the insurance she is on. Simply put, you have no legal liability for her adult daughter's bills by virtue of carrying her on the insurance.

TexLawyer :

The reason for this is because you and the hospital have no privity of contract. The principle of privity in the common law's law of contract dictates that an individual cannot sue on a contract to which he or she was not a party.


Thank you so much! You have taken away a huge worry for me! We will now be able to keep her on our medical insurance without financial worry.

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