Mom's ER visit bill

by DKN
(St Louis, MO, USA)

Recently my Mom was visiting me (St Louis, MO) from overseas (She does not live in the US) and had to be hospitalized (Emergency room visit). She was covered by a traveller's insurance at that time. When she was signed into the ER, I was only mentioned as an emergency contact person (not a guarantor).

Now she has left US, I have received bills over $5.5K and insurance company is mulling on paying the least (yet I have to see the final negotiated patient's portion of the bill).

My question is am I legally responsible for paying the bill or what are my choices to negotiate with the hospital?

Reply from

It is very unlikely that, unless you signed something agreeing to be financially responsible for your Mom's medical bills, that the hospital can hold you responsible for them. More likely they are sending the bills to you because you have U.S. address and it's easier for them to try to contact you than to try to bill her overseas.

We don't see any reason why you can't just send the hospital a certified letter explaining that you are not financially responsible for your mother's bills and asking them to stop contacting you. You can give them your mom's contact information as well as the traveller's insurance information for further information if you like. Assuming your mother is living outside the US on a permanent basis, it is likely the hospital will simply have to duke it out with the insurance company.

We must point out that we are not attorneys and this is not meant to be legal advice. If you are being threatened for non-payment of this debt, please talk with a consumer law attorney right away.

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