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Ask Loren Your Own Question
Loren, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 34003
Experience:  30 years experience in personal injury law.
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In April of 2013 my husband fell off a high deck and went to

Customer Question

In April of 2013 my husband fell off a high deck and went to the local emergency room. He had an x-ray on his injured shoulder and staples put in a gash on his head. For the 2 to 3 hour visit we received bills totaling $3,034.30 which broken down was for the x-ray, staple procedure, medication and ER visit. Our insurance was billed and all of this went toward our deductible so we had to pay the entire bill ourselves which we did making payments over about 6 months. Recently, February 2015, I received a bill for $1,251.00 which was for the same date that he was in the ER. I called to find out what it was since it had been 2 years and we had already paid all the bills we received. I was told that the bill was for the doctor's fee for that day and we had never paid it. I told them I did pay all the bills I had received and I was told this was for the actual doctor that saw my husband and that the doctor's billings are separate from all the other ER costs.
I don't understand how they can come back and bill me for something that happened 2 years ago especially since I never received any prior bills. They also told me they had billed our insurance company and the insurance company did not pay. On all the other charges from that day I received an explanation of benefits from our insurance company breaking down what had been billed to them and what portions went to our deductible etc. but I never received explanation of benefits from our insurance company for this $1,251.
I believe that this doctor bill was never sent to us before. I believe it was missed and somewhere along the way someone discovered it had not been paid or billed and now they are trying to collect it after 2 years.
Am I obligated to pay this bill? Do I have any recourse since it has been so long to at least have the bill reduced?
Thank you for your time,
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I will do whatever I can to answer your question.
I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.
Unfortunately, the statute of limitations for medical bills is 3 or 6 years depending on whether there is a written contract.
Therefore, since it has been only 2 years, the bills are collectible even if they were lost or not sent out for 2 years. So long as the statute of limitations has not expired they can seek collection.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not necessarily a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.
Best regards.