Consumer Protection Law

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I had surgery in June 2015. Our insurance company paid the…

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Hello, I had surgery in...
Hello, I had surgery in June 2015. Our insurance company paid the surgeon's claim directly to us since the dr is out of network. I have since paid the dr 2/3 of the total and am making sizable payments. I KNOW they would have preferred all of it at once but with the bills for the surgery center, lab, and all others plus missing 5 weeks of work it just got absorbed in the budget. The dr hired a collection company/ lawyer claiming it is theft. I do not have it all to pay in full as they are demanding. I have every intention of paying in full at $2,000 a month. Over $26,000 paid to them so far. If they sue, I'll have to hire a lawyer and won't be able to pay the $2,000.
My understanding is my debt to them is between them and me and not related to the insurance payment, legally
.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
2/16/2016
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 years ago
Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 37,944
Experience: 30 years experience in general legal matters.
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Good morning. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you today.

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Consumer Protection Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Has the debt collector threatened you with arrest if the debt is not paid?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Hello, I just found your response in my spam folder.
No, not directly, but he said there has been wrong doing and that there was an enclosed statute that considered it theft. He said the Dr was waiving his right to report it to authorities and prefers to settle it civilally. I think they misunderstand the fact that the insurance has contract with my husband who is policy holder and not responsible for my medical bills and that I have the contract with the Dr.
Never the less, I owe the money and intend to pay it. I never received a bill of any kind.
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Thank you for the additional information.

Do you have a written agreement with the doctor to pay monthly payments?

By the way, it is not theft.

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Consumer Protection Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Also, have you confirmed with your insurance company that you are liable for the difference between the amount they charged you and the amount paid by the insurance co.? Often, when an insurance co settles with a provider it obtains a release on behalf of the insured.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
dr never agreed to monthly payments. Lawyer wrote letter demanding payment in full and I can't do that so I started making monthly payments to the collector, who reiterated that Dr hasn't agreed to that.
There is no difference. Insurance didn't pay to dr as he's out of network. I owe the amount claimed.
I am trying to get an agreement to monthly payments of $2,000 for the next 5 months. They are threatening to sue which seems counterproductive as I am paying and can't pay more. But, alluding to worse. I have a professional license to protect.
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

All you can do is negotiate. If they want to sue you can not stop them. The important thing is that if you reach an agreement make sure it is in writing so that you can enforce it.

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Consumer Protection Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Would there be any benefit to me explaining to the lawyer/collector that the characterization of the insurance company sending me a check for the Dr isn't really accurate and that the check to my husband/ policy holder is separate from my responsibility to pay the Dr? I get the impression that Dr is indignant and feels taken of vantage of more than wanting his duly earned money.
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

I think you should not be dealing directly with the attorney. He is there to help the doctor, not you.

You may want to retain your own attorney to assist with the negotiation.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I know but that would leave less money to get this paid. What type of lawyer would you recommend?
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

A business/commercial litigation attorney.

If you need assistance finding local counsel try Martindale Hubble (site rules prohibit us from referring specific attorneys) . Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise:

http://www.martindale.com/Find-Lawyers-and-Law-Firms.aspx

It is a huge worldwide database searchable by location and specialty. The attorneys are all peer rated. So, they represent the top of the profession.

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Consumer Protection Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?

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