What do you do when you’re inaccurately charged for a medical procedure and the debt goes to collections? Last week, a consumer with this very dilemma called in to The Credit Line, a radio show hosted by Credit.com’s chairman and co-founder Adam Levin, for help.
The caller, Ann, said she had had two identical surgeries months apart; she wasn’t charged a co-pay fee for the first one, but was for the second one. Before she had these surgeries, she believed that there would not be a co-pay with a zero authorization on her insurance forms. Afterward, she was not provided with an explanation of benefits (EOB). She made several phone calls to the hospital, only to be told that the debt had been sent to collections, and they could therefore not help. Meanwhile the collection agency views this as a hospital and insurance issue, not theirs. What are Ann’s options?
The first thing to do in this situation is request the EOB from your insurance company. Second, send a certified letter to the collection agency and the hospital’s billing department disputing the charge. Ask them to verify the debt and make sure you keep a copy of the letter. If they don’t take action within 30 days, you may want to take legal action against them.
Important tips to remember:
- If debt collectors call about this debt while you’re trying to resolve the issue, you don’t have to avoid them. Take the call and explain that you’re disputing the claim. Communication can help.
- Be persistent! Put the pressure on and make it known that the situation will only be resolved after the debt is taken off of your record.
Listen to The Credit Line
- Listen Live: The Credit Line streams live here every Saturday at 9 a.m. PST/Noon EST, and repeats on Sundays at 11 p.m. PST/ 2 a.m. EST.
- Listen to the Archives: Listen to previous episodes of The Credit Line in the Credit.com Radio archives here.
If you want expert advice on your credit or debt issues, call in to The Credit Line at 888-539-2980, Saturdays at 9 a.m. PST/Noon EST.
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Image: Adrian Bolister, via Flickr.com