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What happens if my account goes to collections?

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What happens if my account goes to collections?

Old 06-27-2017, 09:20 AM
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Default What happens if my account goes to collections?

Hi guys, I have no experience in this area and would like some advice.

Long story short, I have a medical bill with a balance of just over $700. In my view this bill is completely illegitimate. The billing company is claiming that this doctor is out of my network. The insurance company is saying it is in network (and everything was pre-approved) and my portion of the bill is only $345, which I paid, leaving the balance of $710.

I have made multiple attempts to work this out over the past 6 months, including arranging a conference call in which I had a supervisor from both parties on the phone together with me. The billing company continues to insist that I pay the out of network amount. The insurance company is telling me not to pay it and that I don't owe it. Now the billing company is saying I have 90 days or it goes to collections.

I have never had a late bill in my life. Fico is 825. If this goes to collections will it ruin my credit that I have worked my whole life for? Will I have to go to court? Will they garnish wages? Or will it just be a temporary credit hit that I can take because I already have such a strong history?

I'm not rich but I could pay the $710 without it being a huge setback, but feel it is more of a principle of the matter issue at this point. What can I expect if I let this ride?
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:30 AM
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who is the 'billing company'? Dr? insurance provider? third party? hospital?
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Sin Bin fishing RI View Post
who is the 'billing company'? Dr? insurance provider? third party? hospital?
The billing company is American Anesthesiology. The doctor is Anthony Russo out of Savannah. I didn't pick Dr. Russo, I just showed up for my routine colonoscopy and he was the doctor that was scheduled to do the anesthesiology, again all supposedly pre-approved. Insurance company is IBG, they tell me Dr. Russo's group has been "in-network" for 15 years.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:43 AM
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There is no due date per-se so you won't get hit with a 30/60/90 day late you will just have the account show as in collections which will ding your score.

Something seems off here. From what you are writing it sounds like more was charged from the Dr office due to the insurance provider not being in network?

If your insurance company is saying that he is in network can you just pay the $700 and submit the transaction to your insurance company for reimbursement?
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:50 AM
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First, put it all in writing. Send it to them stating that you are formally disputing the bill. If you don't have in writing that you are disputing it, you won't have a leg to stand on later.

Next, get it in writing from your insurance company, showing that they are indeed in-network. Submit a copy of that to the billing company as well.

Also, check and see if you have a certain amount of deductible that has not been yet met. That $710 may be part of the deductible that you're on the hook for.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:51 AM
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The answer should be very simple. If the bill is from an in-network professional, that professional should have a contract with the insurance company that requires him to eat anything beyond the insurance-approved amount. If he has been paid by the insurance company and insurance has advised you of your share, that should be the end of it.

Some doctors ask patients to sign a document that says the patient will be responsible for any billed amount over and above insurance reimbursement. My insurance company will threaten to kick the doctor off their network if he tries to enforce that contract.

Some doctors bill insurance for what they know insurance will pay and send the rest of the bill to you. That's an attempt to get round the contract and my insurance company will go after them for that, too.

Your insurance company should be your ally here.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Lorne Greene View Post
There is no due date per-se so you won't get hit with a 30/60/90 day late you will just have the account show as in collections which will ding your score.

Something seems off here. From what you are writing it sounds like more was charged from the Dr office due to the insurance provider not being in network?

If your insurance company is saying that he is in network can you just pay the $700 and submit the transaction to your insurance company for reimbursement?
The original total bill was over $1200. The insurance paid a portion, I paid my portion $345) and the remaining balance is supposed to be an in-network "discount. " As I understand it this discount is part of the IBG contract. It shows up on my benefit statement as "discount $710" and patient responsibility "$345". In other words, the $710 should be written off as per the contract with IBG. I've gone all through this over and over with both parties over the past 6 months. At this point, I just want to know what will happen when I don't pay it.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:51 AM
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So who are they trying to collect the money for?
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
So who are they trying to collect the money for?

That's a good question. Are they just trying to rip me off, I don't know. The BBB does have a few complaints against them. I may be adding mine!
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by GAStingray View Post
That's a good question. Are they just trying to rip me off, I don't know. The BBB does have a few complaints against them. I may be adding mine!
They have to tell you who they are collecting the money for and show you a bill.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
They have to tell you who they are collecting the money for and show you a bill.
Im assuming they are collecting it for the Dr.
My bill has a listing for :
Date of Service
Patient
Procedure
Location
Primary Insurance

Dr. Russo has no office or contact number. Every number I have found or tried for him goes back to these folks at American Anesthesiology.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
They have to tell you who they are collecting the money for and show you a bill.
Yes. Get a bill from them showing who they are collecting for.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:26 AM
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American Anesthesiology is a group of Dr's which you should call and ask for the billing department. If they have been paid then you need to have them clear it up with the collection agency. If there is a problem then they should be able to correct the issue then stop the collection.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:32 AM
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Can we all agree that our current payer/provider system is a complete joke?

I get to go to the billing dept and dispute a $4k charge on Monday. This was for the birth of our 3rd child. Last two kids cost $2k to be born, and I will gladly pay the $2k, just not the additional. On top of that the service sucked, hospital stay sucked, the delivery sucked.

Just pisses me off to no end. I think of all the people who had foreclosures back in the recession and I assume those folks are doing ok now. Why should I/you be concerned with $700 hitting your credit score? Does anyone really care?
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
American Anesthesiology is a group of Dr's which you should call and ask for the billing department. If they have been paid then you need to have them clear it up with the collection agency. If there is a problem then they should be able to correct the issue then stop the collection.
Ok, maybe I wasn't clear or stated it wrong. The account has not yet gone to collections. The CSR I spoke to this morning told me I have 90 days and then it will be turned over to collections, hence the thread on what that will actually mean for me.

American anesthesiology has been paid, in part. The insurance co. paid a part, I paid a part, the remaining balance is what is in question. The insurance co. is saying that per their contract there should be an in network discount and therefor there is no additional patient responsibility. AA disagrees and is looking for me to pony up an additional $710.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by SOA View Post
Can we all agree that our current payer/provider system is a complete joke?

I get to go to the billing dept and dispute a $4k charge on Monday. This was for the birth of our 3rd child. Last two kids cost $2k to be born, and I will gladly pay the $2k, just not the additional. On top of that the service sucked, hospital stay sucked, the delivery sucked.

Just pisses me off to no end. I think of all the people who had foreclosures back in the recession and I assume those folks are doing ok now. Why should I/you be concerned with $700 hitting your credit score? Does anyone really care?
Trust me, I feel your pain. Whether or not I should care about a $700 collection hitting my credit score is what I am trying to figure out. Of course no one else should necessarily care about my $700, I'm just trying to ask for help to know what to expect. Never been in this situation before, always paid on time and in full.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by GAStingray View Post
The original total bill was over $1200. The insurance paid a portion, I paid my portion $345) and the remaining balance is supposed to be an in-network "discount. " As I understand it this discount is part of the IBG contract. It shows up on my benefit statement as "discount $710" and patient responsibility "$345". In other words, the $710 should be written off as per the contract with IBG. I've gone all through this over and over with both parties over the past 6 months. At this point, I just want to know what will happen when I don't pay it.
The answer to "I just want to know what will happen when I don't pay it" is that it will go to collections and it will affect your credit score. As much as I would like to say don't pay it, the truth is the have you by the short hairs. Pay the invoice then fight it. It's really the only way to stop it from going to collection. If you allow it to go to collection you can negotiate the invoice down but rest assured you do not want to go through that hassle and you credit will still take a hit.

Welcome to 21st century healthcare where the word "care" takes on a whole new meaning.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by GAStingray View Post
Ok, maybe I wasn't clear or stated it wrong. The account has not yet gone to collections. The CSR I spoke to this morning told me I have 90 days and then it will be turned over to collections, hence the thread on what that will actually mean for me.

American anesthesiology has been paid, in part. The insurance co. paid a part, I paid a part, the remaining balance is what is in question. The insurance co. is saying that per their contract there should be an in network discount and therefor there is no additional patient responsibility. AA disagrees and is looking for me to pony up an additional $710.
Sounds like you need to now go to the insurance company and see if they are in fact an in network provider. Maybe they can dispute the charge on your behalf.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:42 AM
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terrible situation. you have little recourse. I hate health insurance. I hate collections. Its a massive racket. Is this an employer sponsored plan? I would raise hell with your HR department and see if you have any recourse.

I had a 240 dollar collection hit my credit profile- My wife didn't pay a rehab bill... I paid it immediately, but it will be on my credit report for 7 years!!!!
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ncmallard78 View Post
terrible situation. you have little recourse. I hate health insurance. I hate collections. Its a massive racket. Is this an employer sponsored plan? I would raise hell with your HR department and see if you have any recourse.

I had a 240 dollar collection hit my credit profile- My wife didn't pay a rehab bill... I paid it immediately, but it will be on my credit report for 7 years!!!!
Yes, it is employer plan. Hadn't thought about HR.
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