Outstanding Medical Bill, Paying Incrementally

by Lorraine
(Orange County, CA, USA)

In early 2011 I received home health care prescribed by my physician. I have Medicare part B as well as a private insurance. The actual medicine was not covered under Medicare, private insurance paid a portion. I am currently paying the health care company $25/mo. I wrote them a letter explaining my financial issues with the first check. I have been paying for 6 months and they have been sending me statements.

Now they are calling and though they have not threatened me with collections, they are stating my private insurance company wants the payment made in full and by not paying it could affect my benefits. This is not the case according to SAMBA. Does my initial letter of explanation with the first check constitute an agreement? They did cash the check and subsequent checks. My balance is $3200 on the bill. Do I need to negotiate an agreement? I read many facilities are fine with monthly payments, however, I feel that this is not the case with this home health care. Am I required to pay it in full? I was told it was covered under Medicare, and the fact that part was not seems to me an extenuating circumstance. Not to ignore the bill, but at least a reason they should accept monthly payments.

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Feb 19, 2012
Outstanding Medical Bill, Paying Incrementally
by: Debtcollectionanswers

Lorraine:

Yes, you need to negotiate a formal written agreement with the home health care company if you cannot pay the amount you owe in one lump sum and want to pay it over time. Even though the company has been cashing your checks, given that you have no payment agreement with the company, it is legally entitled to demand that you pay your outstanding balance immediately and to send your debt to collections without giving you any prior notice. It is also legally entitled to sue you for the money.

So, contact the provider right away and try to work out a payment plan. If you are able to reach an agreement with one another, get the terms of the agreement in writing and do not make any payments until you have the agreement in hand.

If your debt has already been sent to collections, try to work out a payment plan with the collection agency instead. Go here for more information about medical debt collection, including other options for dealing with this kind of debt.


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