Paying Off Medical Debt

by Theresa
(Tampa Florida)

I had surgery in march of 2011 and my insurance paid all but $3205.00 and I have been making payments every month since of $25.00 due to also paying the same to the Dr. and Medical extras i.e. x-rays,cat scans..I have explained to them that its all I can afford and will make the payment more as i pay odd the lower ones.I had a bill at this hospital before and i make payments and they were fine with it, and that bill was over $1000.00 also. My credit is good and I am single and dont want it to drop. Also I have very little savings and am 58. That amount would completly wipe me out. What can I do.
Theresa Bowser

Comments for Paying Off Medical Debt

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Sep 02, 2011
by: Anonymous

What I mean is, first they want way more then what I can afford a month and I told them that it was not possible. Now they want it all now or I will be sent to collection. The reason I put this question on her is because I couldn't find any answers elswhere and I cant afford a lawyer.

Thanks for the reply.

Reply from

Teresa, As a general rule, creditors or collectors don't have to accept whatever debtors/patients can afford to pay. Patients who aren't able to pay often can be sent to collections.

Also keep in mind that if a creditor or collector breaks the law when trying to collect a debt, it may be required to pay damages and attorneys fees. That's why it can be beneficial to at least get a free consultation with a consumer law attorney. If the attorney things the consumer has a good case, it may be willing work with her on a contingent fee basis (no fee unless you recover.)

Finally, keep in mind the average billing clerk in a hospital is managing some 1000+ accounts. So sometimes you do have to be the "squeaky wheel" to get a positive response.

Aug 21, 2011
Medical debt
by: Anonymous

By doing "the right" thing you have caused harm to yourself. (1) There are states (NJ for example) that have laws which make it illegal for any healthcare provider to seek payments for amounts not covered by the insurance company. Perhaps, FL has similar laws? You should have checked that first. But maybe it's not to late.

(2) HIPPA has a nice little loophole that allows little people to get out of paying ANY medical bill and it is simple as long as you can follow this process:

a. When you receive the demand letter, ask for validation.

b. A copy of what the collector has in its files (i.e. an invoice) IS NOT proof per the FTC. Only copies of the actual paperwork that produced the debt is proper/legal validation (i.e. copy of your medical record).

c. If they provide you with your medical record, bingo! you've hit the jackpot! Both the provider and the collection agency have breached your right to privacy and confidentiality (the provider cannot release your personal info to the collection company per HIPPA).

d. Now, you have the choice (and all the proof you need) to sue both the provider and the collection agency.

e. You write a letter to both and tell them just that, they have breached your privacy and divulged personal/confidential info. Then, you threaten to sue both of them.

f. Or, in the alternative, they do not provide you any validation.

In either scenario (e) and/or (f), you get off scotts free. Trust me this works, I've got out of thousands (as much as $15,000 at one time) this way. And, please, don't let your conscience get the best of you. They all screw you and me every chance they get. There's nothing wrong with getting them back for once.


Aug 21, 2011
Paying Off Medical Debt

Theresa, I am not 100% clear from your question about what your problem is. Is the hospital demanding that you pay more on your outstanding bill than you are currently doing each month? Is it threatening to sue you for the money?

Please provide me with more information about your situation and what prompted you to post your question so I can try to help you.


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