Hospital debt

by Mary Jane
(Yuma, Arizona)

My husband owes the hospital here in Yuma, Arizona just over $10,000.00. We want to know if we make payments if they can still turn it over to collections? Who decides how much we are to pay each month? We can only afford about $100.00 as I am unable to work right now due to my health so we only have one income.

Comments for Hospital debt

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Mar 14, 2010
medical debt you cannot pay
by: Gerri

Mary Jane,

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

I don't have an easy answer to your question. Medical bills can be very difficult to deal with. We are planning on adding a section on medical debt to this website, but in the meantime, I have a few thoughts:

1. The provider is not required to accept what you can afford before placing the account for collection. Do as much as you can to try to get them to agree in writing to a payment arrangement, as well as to agree that they will not place it for collections if you keep up with the payments.

2. Ask the hospital billing department for a meeting with the hospital to explore all your options for reduced fees for your care. You may have to be very persistent about this, but stick to your guns and find out if you can get some of the bill waived or lowered given your financial situation.

3. Start a file and keep notes of every single phone call, bill, letter etc.

4. Set up a a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney to find out what your options will be if the hospital does not back down, you cannot afford this debt, and you are sued. Even if you have no intention of filing for bankruptcy, it is important to know what might be at risk if you are sued for this debt.

I hope this helps a little. I know this is very stressful. Please stay in touch through the comments section and let us know what happens.

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