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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Medical bill question: I'll try to keep this short: I had a

Customer Question

Medical bill question:
Hello, I’ll try to keep this short:
I had a very bad stomach ache and went to the emergency room at Desert Regional Medical, Palm Springs, CA. They asked for my ID and I handed my Blue Shield of California Card and nothing else. After he entered my ID info he handed me a form to fill out, which I did.
After speaking with the nurse and telling her that I drink a lot and had been drinking very much they send me upstairs.
I spent about 7-8 hours there and they said I had a problem with alcohol and gave me a prescription for pain relieve (which ended up being available on the shelf). When I went to the Pharmacy that same afternoon they told me immediately that my Blue Shield of California card was cancelled (I lost my wallet and the credit card was cancelled which my BSC was paid by was not made).
The original bill from DRM was $21,604 which they say was reduced to $$6,601 which I have to pay.
DRM NEVER TOLD ME MY BSC CARD WAS CANCELLED WHEN I WAS THERE. I later found out that emergency room’s are only suppose to do the bare minimum for uninsured people.
I have $0 income and when I spoke with DRM they were to send me forms to apply for welfare, which they didn’t, they keep sending me bills. I can’t, and don’t think I should have to pay this high amount. If they told me my Blue Shield was cancelled, I would have left the emergency room and got some TUMS.
I TRIED to keep it short LOL. Thank you.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 11 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I do hope to be able to assist you today.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 11 months ago.

Unfortunately, the hospital cannot turn you away for not having insurance, and they do not advise you as to whether or not your insurance is current. (This is to encourage people to be seen for life threatening emergencies, and hospitals can be charged with negligence if they are turning patients away with these conditions).

However, to deal with your medical bills:

The form that the hospital should be sending you is called a "Payment Assistance Application" (the billing department has this, send them a written letter asking for one (keep a copy)).

When you receive this, complete it promptly, submit all necessary copies or additional information, and send it back (keep a copy).

The welfare that they are going to assist you with is getting Medical/Medicaid for you dated retroactively to the date of service. This is why you want them to assist you with this.

If they do not assist you (they should), or if you appear to be getting nowhere with their assistance, visit your local county benefits (welfare) office and ask for assistance signing up for mediCal. Make sure to tell them that you have outstanding medical bills (give them the date and details) so that they can sign you up for retroactive benefits.