hospital didn't send bills before contacting collection agency

My nineteen year old daughter went into the emergency room for chronic constipation. They performed a number of tests only to end up advising her to go to Walgreen's to get a bottle of some liquid that took care of it.

She has insurance with a high deductible. We had heard from the insurance company that we would be billed from the hospital but we never received the bills. Apparently, there was a wrong address in the system. The next thing we know, she receives a bill from a collection agency!

Can this be reversed? I don't want her credit to be jeopardized. Also, the amount she is being billed seems enormous and I feel that they should have warned her that her insurance wouldn't cover the cost and that they took advantage of a young person. Please help!

Reply from

We're sorry she has to go through this...she's not the only one. This kind of problem is very common. Half of all collection accounts on credit reports are due to medical bills.

It's ridiculous that the first time she hears of a medical bill is when it's in collections. You are going to have to pay hard ball with the hospital to get them to take the account back from the collection agency and work with her to let her make payments.

As to the fact that they didn't help her, we don't know that there is a lot you can do about that. ER visits don't typically come with money-back guarantees! But it seems they should be willing to negotiate a reasonable settlement if you can help her pay it off.

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