Go Back  The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > Dockside Chat
Reload this Page >

What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Notices

What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Old 01-30-2007, 09:54 PM
  #1  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: OIB NC
Posts: 2,160
Default What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

After having our second son last year and then running into an unbelieveable stroke of bad luck that led us to an ER visit on January 2nd (read after calerdar year maximuns and deductibles for health insurance reset ) my wife and I find ourselves about $10K in debt to the hospital. I'm trying to arrange an appointment with the facility administrator to work out a payment plan or a one time buy out. I've read lots of info on the net as well as talked to several people and heard lots of stories about getting a deal on a lump sum payment. Some times as little as ten cents on the dollar, more often though in the neighborhood of half off.

Some of the things I've read or been told are..
*hospital can't send you collection if you pay at least a small amount each month
*hospital will only get 40% of total debt from collection agency if it does go that route
*considering the amount of people who just walk out on their debt, hospitals are all ears when the term "Lump sum" is mentioned

What are your experiences?

If you have a "success story," what is it? How did you go about getting your debt reduced?

What in your opinion would be a good starting point for negotiations?

I'm willing to pay a fair amount for the services recieved, but I struggle with the thought that I'm paying extra to make up for all of the scumbags and illegals that walk out on their debt. I also don't like the idea, for obvious reasons, of paying a higher amount because I didn't take the time to aks a few questions.


Any good advice out there?

Thanks,
Matt
originalsin is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:07 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: An island in Maine
Posts: 1,410
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Well, if you don't pay your fair share (the full amount) the next poor sap will be paying "catch up" for the hospital's loss on the last bill. I would imagine the bill is fairly clear? Those that pay pennies on the dollar are the ones with the mark on their credit as such.
Johnshan is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:19 PM
  #3  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: OIB NC
Posts: 2,160
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Johnshan - 1/30/2007 10:07 PM

Well, if you don't pay your fair share (the full amount) the next poor sap will be paying "catch up" for the hospital's loss on the last bill. I would imagine the bill is fairly clear? Those that pay pennies on the dollar are the ones with the mark on their credit as such.
You're just the type of guy that the hospital will use for making up ground lost on illegals and welfare roles.

Reading a little deeper into my post might help you to understand that I ain't gonna be the poor sap that you are suggesting will follow me. Thanks for your sage-like advice.

My credit score is almost 800 BTW, becasue I know how to play the game to my advantage---this being only another inning.
originalsin is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:21 PM
  #4  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pompano Beach, FL
Posts: 1,878
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Don't assume that your credit will get "marked" as a result of negotiating your hospital bill. Different hospitals have different policies. Personal injury lawyers negotiate hospital bills all day long and you are correct, anywhere from 10% - 70% of the total is the typical range. Don't forget, if you had insurance, the insurance company would only reimburse a percentage of what is being billed also pursuant to their contract with the hospital or based on what the "usual and customary" charge for each procedure in the community should be. Bear in mind that the charge and the reimbursement, when talking about medical bills are two very different animals.

You should be able to do allright on this. Typically, i would recommend that you consider making a lump sum payment as opposed to monthlys. Get it out of the way. Plus, they will likely take much less in lump sum than they would monthly, given the inherent risk in waiting for payment over time.

Good luck and sorry to hear of your bad run.
rkatz is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:27 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: An island in Maine
Posts: 1,410
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

So let me get this straight- you dont feel as if you should pay your fair share. Your credit score is 800 yet you cannot afford to have health insurance or it is so poor that you are stuck with a 10K bill. Now you want to get out of your bill just because you don't feel it is what you should have to pay? Let me guess, you also work under the table as much as you can to avoid having to be taxed and help the illegals out? If so your just as bad as one of them, stealing services because you feel like it.

My health care costs are high because of illegals and folks like YOU who will not take responsibility for their actions.
Johnshan is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:33 PM
  #6  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pensacola
Posts: 4,869
Default RE: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

I fractured my heel this last year, and they finally settled for about 60% of the total. My wife busted her elbow and wrist several years ago, and they gave her about 35% off. This was paying a single lump sum each time.
Sit down and talk to them. See what can be worked out.

ER bills are based on insurance coverage(opinion), and are sky high to start with. The insurance companies tell them to stick it, and then tell them how much they'll pay. A guy like me who goes in and pays cash, gets the shaft(what I ended up paying, is still more then an insurance company would have paid).
We payed for the visit when I fractured my heel right after the exam. Two weeks later, they sent a new bill saying we still owed about $600.
I was so PO'd, I called the billing department, and told em that if I did business like that, I'd be in jail. The laws regarding hospitals, and their ability to collect their money are all in their favor.
The " coup de gras" of this whole thing, was a bill from the ER physician for $450.00 for holding my heel in his hand, making an apointment with an ortho, and telling me it was fractured( I knew this already, it crunched when I put weight on it). The second surprise was a bill for reading the Xray that showed up several weeks later. Seems its a state law here, that you have to have a certified reader look at your xray. Even though they looked at it two days after I knew it was broken, they still get paid.

The bottom line was, they charged me around $2600(I was out of pocket 60% of this) for an ice pack, a splint, three ace bandages, and a pair of crutches. It also included 5 Xrays( 1 botched, 3 really nice pics of my foot, and one that was actually worth the money).

Advice........avoid ER if at all possible. If there is an Urgent Care type place go there instead.


katkt is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:33 PM
  #7  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: OIB NC
Posts: 2,160
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Johnshan - 1/30/2007 10:07 PM

Well, if you don't pay your fair share (the full amount) the next poor sap will be paying "catch up" for the hospital's loss on the last bill. I would imagine the bill is fairly clear? Those that pay pennies on the dollar are the ones with the mark on their credit as such.
I have a question for you--a little food for thought, if you will.........

~Did you pay sticker price for your Proline?
~Your truck?
~Did you give the seller his asking price for your home?
~When you sell any of those items will you kid yourself into believing that you will get your asking price from the first interested party?
~Did you think about your reply to my question?
~Did you even consider my question fully before asnwering?
originalsin is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:45 PM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 651
Default RE: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Matt,
I don't have any info to give you, but I definitely empathize with you. It makes me mad as he!! to have healthcare providers expect full payment from individuals, but settle for pennies on the dollar from insurance carriers. My doc sent some lab tests off to LabCorp. Four of the procedures were paid by my carrier, but one was not covered. One procedure was $168 and my carrier paid them $13 per their contract. The procedure not covered was $58 and LabCorp wanted $58 from me. The third party payor system has gotten the healthcare system screwed up beyond belief!
Good luck with getting fairness out of this system.
Doug

seahawg is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:46 PM
  #9  
Admirals ClubCaptains Club Member Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 2,009
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

originalsin, Wow, lotsa bucks to pay at one time however I’m with you, try to deal for a discounted one time payment, they accept a lot less than full payment from insurance companies so you deserve a break also. Wheel and deal with them.

Not very long ago we were billed an additional hospital bill we did not owe, curiously before we were billed it went to collection, finally phoned the top guy at the hospital and after checking the records decided we were right and he told the greedy staff to leave us alone. We received a sorry letter soon after. I honestly feel they try to gouge most patients.

Insurance companies pay less than 50% so offer the hospital $5,000, betcha they accept it. Then be sure to write on the check “hospital bill paid in full“.



Ray, Tennessee 2180DLX Carolina Skiff 90HP Honda
rayteagarden1 is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:48 PM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: OIB NC
Posts: 2,160
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Johnshan - 1/30/2007 10:27 PM
So let me get this straight- you dont feel as if you should pay your fair share.
No JACKASS. I just thougt I would ask around a little before I cut a 10 THOUSAND DOLLAR CHECK.

Your credit score is 800 yet you cannot afford to have health insurance or it is so poor that you are stuck with a 10K bill. Now you want to get out of your bill just because you don't feel it is what you should have to pay?
NO JACKASS. I DON'T WANT TO BE THE POOR SAP PAYING FOR ALL OF THE F^CK!ING ILLEGALS AND MEDICAID TRASH THAT CAME BEFORE ME. If you do then have at it.

Let me guess, you also work under the table as much as you can to avoid having to be taxed and help the illegals out? If so your just as bad as one of them, stealing services because you feel like it.
What the f^ck about trying to be a wise and informed consumer would lead you to believe that I dodge my taxes. Is it just because you're a JACKASS........... JACKASS.

My health care costs are high because of illegals and folks like YOU who will not take responsibility for their actions.
No my friend. Your health care costs are high because of people who abuse their insurance and go to the doctor for a f^ck!ng hang nail. Your health care costs are high becasue of people who walk out on their debts. Your health care costs are high because of frivilous lawsuits. YOUR healthcare costs are high becaue YOU DIDN'T BOTHER TO ASK AROUND TO FIND OUT IF YOU WERE GETTING TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS......... JACKASS
originalsin is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:53 PM
  #11  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Eastern Shore of Virginia
Posts: 1,430
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

If you think hospitals are in trouble from deadbeats and illegals you are stopping at only a fraction of the problem.

Hospitals make deals with insurance companies and they wind up paying less while their CEO might pull down 5 to 10 million a year.

Medicare payments are inadequate and are representing a bigger population every year.

Many of the uninsured and underinsured are not deadbeats.... they just can't pay....

In our neck of the woods the "illegals" are the most likely to pay cash when leaving the ER... even if it is only one or two hundred dollars.... when the people at checkout try and collect a 20 dollar copay from someone with insurance they are likely to be given a hard time and have been cussed out more than once.

But to answer your original question: Yes.. discuss this with people who are in a position to help you out. They should be happy to talk with someone who is interested in a payment plan. There is a lot of wiggle room and if someone is going to get a break it might as well be you.... and if you don't ask you won't get it.
ESfishdoc is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:54 PM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pensacola
Posts: 4,869
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

originalsin - 1/30/2007 10:48 PM



My health care costs are high because of illegals and folks like YOU who will not take responsibility for their actions.
No my friend. Your health care costs are high because of people who abuse their insurance and go to the doctor for a f^ck!ng hang nail. Your health care costs are high becasue of people who walk out on their debts. Your health care costs are high because of frivilous lawsuits. YOUR healthcare costs are high becaue YOU DIDN'T BOTHER TO ASK AROUND TO FIND OUT IF YOU WERE GETTING TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS......... JACKASS
Exactly
katkt is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:55 PM
  #13  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: OIB NC
Posts: 2,160
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Gordon, Doug, Ray,.........
Thanks for your insight.

Johnshan............
You suck.
originalsin is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 11:00 PM
  #14  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: OIB NC
Posts: 2,160
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

ESfishdoc - 1/30/2007 10:53 PM

If you think hospitals are in trouble from deadbeats and illegals you are stopping at only a fraction of the problem.

Hospitals make deals with insurance companies and they wind up paying less while their CEO might pull down 5 to 10 million a year.

Medicare payments are inadequate and are representing a bigger population every year.

Many of the uninsured and underinsured are not deadbeats.... they just can't pay....

In our neck of the woods the "illegals" are the most likely to pay cash when leaving the ER... even if it is only one or two hundred dollars.... when the people at checkout try and collect a 20 dollar copay from someone with insurance they are likely to be given a hard time and have been cussed out more than once.

But to answer your original question: Yes.. discuss this with people who are in a position to help you out. They should be happy to talk with someone who is interested in a payment plan. There is a lot of wiggle room and if someone is going to get a break it might as well be you.... and if you don't ask you won't get it.
Thanks for your advice. I was hoping you or one of the other doc's in the house would chime in. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you an ER doctor?
originalsin is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 11:12 PM
  #15  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: OIB NC
Posts: 2,160
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Well............


Johnshan............


Any more deep and insightful wisdom to bring to the table. I'm all ears..........
originalsin is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 11:34 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: BARNEGAT,N.J.USA
Posts: 293
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Get an itemized copy of your bill and go over every line. You are correct when you say pay a little each month,that's what i'm doing for the last year and a half, $10 a month ,got another year to go.
aqua216 is offline  
Old 01-31-2007, 12:21 AM
  #17  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Kent Narrows, MD
Posts: 7,087
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

It's all a ridiculous game. Hospitals charge exhorbitant rates and the insurance companies pay them far less. The only way as a consumer to play the game is to have good insurance to insulate yourself from the nonsense.



Hypothetical question for originalsin:

Someone comes into your place of business & buys $10k worth of product or services. They sign on the dotted line as a promise to pay. A month later they show up & want to negotiate to pay you $1k-$5k. How do you respond ?

Curious: when you were going thru the admitting procedure at the hospital did you say

"I'm willing to pay a fair amount for the services recieved, but I struggle with the thought that I'm paying extra to make up for all of the scumbags and illegals that walk out on their debt." ?



I sincerely hope that all is well with your son. I also hope that you review your coverage as it appears to be lacking.

Most of us empathize with your situation, but IMO your attitude that you are entitled to a substantial discount is off-base. I think a more humble approach is appropriate if you want them to do you a favor



Elusive is offline  
Old 01-31-2007, 12:26 AM
  #18  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Brandon, Florida
Posts: 2,118
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Originalsin,

First, Johnshan was way out of line for his assumptions and his attitude. He should stfu on this topic!

Second, I, too, would try to negotiate that down. As others have mentioned, insurance doesn't pay the full asking price and I wouldn't want to either. I think a one-time payoff below their "asking price" is not unreasonable.

Now, as for a real-case scenario, my tenant went into a local hospital, lied and said he had insurance when he knew he didn't, an act I don't agree with. When it was all said and done, his bill was 105K. Before being discharged, he was offered a one-time settlement of 5K, which he declined. A week later, he had his dad wire him 5K to buy a used truck, but to this day has never paid anything to the hospital. This was a scumbag act because he could have paid at least the minimum that they would have accepted. Now, his credit will never allow him to buy a house in the foreseeable future and I am glad of that.

In your case, I would negotiate that there will be no detrimental credit report if you negotiate a payoff. I am sure that this something that can be negotiated. Years ago, I negotiated a payoff with a credit card company and got a negative report for it. I don't know if hospitals work the same as credit card companies, but be careful of this.

BTW, congrats on a 800 credit score. That is my score as well.

greyg8r is offline  
Old 01-31-2007, 05:26 AM
  #19  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: New Jersey Shore
Posts: 4,071
Default Re: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

My brother stopped being a primary care physician because of insurance paying him $8-12 / visit. To cover his office rent, equiptment leases, malpractice etc., He would have had to see 100 patients a day. When he left he complained second most about insurance companies paying so little on claims. He complained the most about patients who would go out to eat frequently, hire a plumber, a landscaper, a apainter, etc... and pay their pre agreed upon bill with no qualms, yet for some reason had a problem paying him $50 bucks.

I know you turned rather harshly on johnshan, but I think his point is valid. Read Elusive's post again. I too empathize with your situation, and from seeing pics you post about your family, you are a good dad, and have a great family.

Yet I do believe(and I hope you take this respectfully) that you either play the game fairly with your cards all on the table, and you yourself enter the party through the front door, or stop complaining at the very least about others that "you are paying for before you", who enter through the window.
Themis Sal is offline  
Old 01-31-2007, 05:45 AM
  #20  
Senior MemberPLEDGERPLEDGERCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: ATL & SAV
Posts: 12,246
Default RE: What is your experience with paying off high hospital bills?

Since I have analyzed a few hundred hospitals during my career I can definitely state the normal hospital only collects 50% to 60% of their "gross charges". These discounts reflect the lower reimbursement both private insurers and gov't agencies negotiate with the health systems. Tell them you would like to make a lump sum payment of 60% of the charges and see what happens. Good luck buddy.
Tireless is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread