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If You’re Uninsured Hospital Overcharges can Ruin Your Credit, and More…

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Aventura, FL“If you’re uninsured, emergency room overcharges can ruin your life,” says Frank. “I realized that when I had to pay for five stitches. The hospital bill was more than putting my kid through two college semesters—it’s like highway robbery!”

Frank got elbowed on his eyebrow playing soccer and was treated at Aventura hospital. After giving his insurance information and waiting in ER for about 30 minutes, a nurse took his vitals and about ten minutes later a doctor gave him five stiches and sent him home. Ten days later Frank returned to get the stitches out and then the bills arrived.

“My insurance policy only covered me for the first $700, which left me responsible for $1,200,” says Frank. He thought almost $2,000 was rather steep—or $400 per stitch. Frank called the hospital and worked out a payment plan: $28 per month until the amount is paid in full. He was willing to pay that amount, until another bill came in the mail—about three months later.

“Then I got the doctor’s bill for another $2,000, billed from her office directly this time, not the hospital,” Frank explains. “I called my insurance company but I was on the hook for the entire amount. She had already billed my insurance company, but it bounced back to me.”

By the time Frank got the second bill in the mail, it had already gone to the collection agency. His credit had gone down 100 points. “I got a letter from this collection agency, which monitors your credit, after I got the bill from the doctor,” he says. “Turns out that my insurance company denied the doctor’s claim so it automatically went to the collection agency and now I can’t erase that derogatory mark. At the same time I’m getting the run-around. My insurance company tells me to speak to the collection agency. The collection agency says I have to submit another claim to my insurer. So frustrating.”

As for Frank’s eyebrow, the doctor did a good job and he doesn’t have a scar. But was it worth the expense? “Nah, I think it’s okay for a guy to have a little scar,” he quips. “Thank god I’m in a position to pay for it. But what is someone has a serious accident and can’t pay hospital overcharges?” That’s when someone seeks legal help.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I have numerous outstanding medical expenses both from hospital ER visits and overnight stays. I have bill collectors calling me and law firms trying to sue me for breach of contract. All I can do is dodge them. The amount of my ER visits are staggering and my credit score isn't even 500 this whole thing has runined my life

Posted by

on
I am still getting bills from ER for an allergic reaction. I had no insurance.

Posted by

on
I was abused just like this, only my bill was 17,000.00 for 5.stitches and I was uninsured. Still after years of dedicated work by a attorney and other lawyers, the judge went for the hospital side of things and the Case was not certified as a class or did we get a private settlement
However I do not owe the bill , so that was a blessing. Because in Pa they can Sue your Spouse for your Medical bills. One other good thin is wages can not be garnished for such things , but judgement still can be brought against you.

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