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I have medical bills on my credit report that should have…

Customer Question
I have medical bills...

I have medical bills on my credit report that should have been paid by medical insurance. I contacted the billers. They said they couldn’t bill insurance even though I called multiple times and provided correct insurance information. What can I do to get rid of these bills besides paying them myself?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And when did the issue begin?

Florida. 2016.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Yes. They are all in collections on my credit repost. All the hospital bills associated with these accounts were paid. The emergency physicians weren’t paid.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Answered in 1 hour by:
3/9/2018
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Attorney Wendy
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,189
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I have been an attorney for about 20 years. I am sorry you are dealing with this issue. Medical bills and billing and medical insurance can be very tricky. The first thing to consider - if the medical practice says they have been unable to submit your claims to insurance - is to submit those claims yourself. There is typically a procedure within each insurance company for a patient/insured to submit the claims directly rather than having the medical provider do so. Since the issue is a couple years old, however, it may be more difficult to submit successfully after all the time that has passed. That said, it is definitely worth a try. You will need copies of the bills and will need to contact your insurer via phone or through an Internet portal to get direction on how to submit the claims for payment.

Under federal law, unfortunately, the fair credit practices act applies primarily to financial institutions and does not necessarily place the same restrictions related to notice and intent to send to a collection agency on medical providers as on banks and the like. That said, Florida in 2016 did enact a law intending to protect patients from billing by emergency medical service providers who were out of the patient's provider network. I do not know if this is your situation, but if coverage has been denied because the ER physicians were not in your insurance network, this law should provide you some protection to challenge date legitimacy of these bills. This law provides caps on the amounts you owe. So when speaking to your insurer it may be worthwhile to inquire, if bills were submitted and not paid, why coverage was denied. If denial was based on the ER physicians' not being in your network, you may have an opportunity to challenge and limit these bills.

The next part of your issue, of course, is the report to your credit. That is a tougher issue. If you do determine that insurance denied due to out of network and that the physicians billed more than the 2016 law (and you will need to find out exactly when the services were billed as this Florida law was passed in 2016) allowed and those services were provided after passage of this law you may be able to challenge the reports to credit as false, as you may not actually owe those amounts. You would want to use each of the 3 credit bureau processes - Equifax, TransUnion and Experian - to file to correct your credit report (which can be a long and arduous process).

If it turns out you do owe the amounts - that insurance did not cover them and the FL law either was not in place yet or the bills complied with that law's limits - the next possibility is to negotiate either for a payment plan or a discounted payoff to pay the bills so that they will then be reported to the three credit bureaus as paid. It may not completely lift the reports of late payment, but it will help.

I hope this is at least helpful. If you need further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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