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Hospital Bills and Medicaid and Collection


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Not a new topic, per se, but coming at it from a different direction. 

I was hospitalized a little over a year ago.  Didn't have any money, came out with thousands owed, ended up being encouraged to file for medicaid.  So I did.  And, somehow, I was not turned down!  Hooray!  Inpatient bill was paid.

I continued to go to the hospital for meds management and for therapy.  Therapy got a little bit flakey after a few months (the guy was a let-go-and-let-god sorta dude) so I called it quits.

I hadn't so much as received one bill at this time.  Other than the first massive bill, which was paid in full.

So after being out of counseling for a couple of months (with only a med check here and there), I started getting bills.  And the bill said I owed about 195 bucks.  Total: 195.  Alrighty.  It got paid with the help of dear mom.

As soon as that bill got paid, they started sending more bills.  Prior to medicaid, they were writing off the appointments.  After medicaid, they were taking what medicaid would pay and then charge me the rest.

The two bills went to collection for a total of $389.  I know, not too much, but I still don't have it.  And, since I was in school while all of this was going down, mom didn't pass the paperwork on to me because she didn't want me freaking out.

Well crap.  Does anybody know if I can work with the hospital, or if I can contest the billing due to "creative" statements, etc?  I mean, they didn't indicate that I owed them anything and then they start billing me after I leave there?  Aren't they supposed to let you know that you owe them as you go along, that way you can bail out when you realize there's no way in fuck that you'd be able to pay the "god will help you" guy 75 bucks for 45 minutes of him talking about how he worked with habitat for humanity and it made him a better person?

TIA!

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If you were on Medicaid while said bills were accruing, they cannot charge you the difference between what Medicaid covered and what was billed. If these are bills from before or after Medicaid, you can call the hospital's billing office. They ususally have a program that reduces or gets rid of your bill. Good Luck!

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  • 2 months later...

If you have Medicaid, they CANNOT bill you for any non-allowed amount. Bye participating in Medicaid they agree to accept the Medicaid payment as payment-in-full.

Don't let them guilt you into paying for services for which you weren't elegible or that Medicaid doesn't allow.  That is their responsibility to determine if they can get paid for services they provide.  (They should be asking to see and/or copy your monthly Medicaid card). As long as you make it clear that you have Medicaid, you have done your part.

If they gave you services that weren't allowed it is their fault, you are not to blame nor financially responsible.

Call your local Medicaid office.  They should be VERY interested about this (illegal) billing.

Do you have someone who is sharp business-wise who can help you sort this out?

Good luck,

A.M. (who worked 5 years in medical office billing)

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's a bill before congress now to stop the discrimination in Medicare copays for mental health. Medicare pays only 50% for mental health, while it pays 80% for physical health.

Any information on the name of this bill or links to the websites?

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