"Minimum Payment" (Medical Bills..) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Say you can't make the $150 "minimum payment" being requested by a hospital/collection agency..and you never agreed to a $150 plan anyway. But you CAN send in less (far less, but hey..something, anything..$5 is what we have been sending but they said we haven't/it went towards other bills??!!)

I'm in that situation. I'm paying $25 a month but I'm going to have to lower it. At any rate I worked that out by explaining we just couldn't go higher and why. Lucky for me I have a pretty understanding, patient person to deal with.

But now they're doing the same about my husbands bill, and having us call back on Monday. I will talk to them and explain like I did for my bill, they were horrid to him on the phone, but I was wondering if anyone happens to know the name of a law that states as long as we ARE paying, they can't get all snarly with us..?? I would like to throw the name of said law their way

I hope I'm making sense, I'm just sick of rude, uncaring people on the phone :
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#2 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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No, if you aren't making the minimum payment they have every right to take it to collections. Now some doctors, like my FIL, will work with patients. My FIL has loads of people paying him $5/month, and as long as they do that, he doesn't send it to collections, because he knows the people are being honest and trying. Hospitals and large physician groups are not usually so lenient though.
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#3 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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Sadly some will send you to collections even if you are paying something, I have had it to happen to me. I was paying $20 a month and they wanted more, next thing I had collection agencies calling me :.

I would agree with ChattyCat based off my experience that large practices and hospitals are less likely to work with you.

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#4 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 03:17 PM
 
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Have you checked to see if your hospital offers discounts for fiancial hardship? I did that when I had to have emergency surgery when I had no insurance. It helped a lot.

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#5 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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Also I wanted to add that I was paying as much as I could on one medical bill on another instance and they did send it to collections. However, the people at the collections agency were so much nicer. They let me make payments I could afford, and when I got my tax check, they gave me a $50 discount for paying the rest off. I found them a lot easier to work with than the actual doctor's office.

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#6 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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Go to creditboards.com forums. They have a section on medical bills. I reviewed them for my one remaining student loan that the guarantor had said would be put in a special collection dept. because I had to stop working because of medical issues. It got bought out by a collection agency that did all these really ugly, illegal things. I found the info posted there invaluable.
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#7 of 15 Old 10-26-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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Our children's hospital will make payment plans like this with families who have no insurance.

But for families like ours, who have insurance, but are still facing astronomical medical bills, we get no such offers.

Instead we get payment plans that come with interest rates that are higher than our credit cards.

We emptied out our savings and our kids college funds. We've maxed out credit cards to get Parker's meds and the like.

We are too middle class to receive help. But don't make enough to cover what our insurance won't pay for.

Like Parker's new vent.

Sorry to highjack, but insurance and medical bills are two huge issues of mine.
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#8 of 15 Old 10-26-2008, 02:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TammyandParker View Post
Our children's hospital will make payment plans like this with families who have no insurance.

But for families like ours, who have insurance, but are still facing astronomical medical bills, we get no such offers.

Instead we get payment plans that come with interest rates that are higher than our credit cards.

We emptied out our savings and our kids college funds. We've maxed out credit cards to get Parker's meds and the like.

We are too middle class to receive help. But don't make enough to cover what our insurance won't pay for.

Like Parker's new vent.

Sorry to highjack, but insurance and medical bills are two huge issues of mine.
I can so relate to your post.

Hospitals are the worst! So unforgiving. Any *help* is based strictly on income,not the years of accumulating drs and hospital bills.

Then,after you've gone through this for awhile, your credit is effected,and that sets the amount of the "minimum"payment. And round and round you go.

I say to the people I owe $ to,and,with absolute passion and sincerity in my voice,that I *will* pay them,explain our enormous medical debt,blah,blah.I have been called horrible names,and harrassed big time. All while just trying to cope with each day.

Finally, I found out that I can request,in writing, for the calls to stop,and that I only be contacted by mail. I think it was my sis who heard about this at a Dave Ramsey conference. But....supposedly,he also says to call them,before they have a chance to call you-or write-whichever you are doing.

But,by then, so many issues come to the surface,I retreat,and ignore mail,don't call. Bad,bad,bad.(See my thread about procrastination and fear.)

Also sorry to hijack...all this to say, I relate,and you can stop the verbal harrassment via written request.

FYI...if you know ahead of time,that you are to have a surgery or procedure,you can ask the hospital or dr to please accept ONLY what your insurance pays(if you have it),and get it in writing. That helped our family,the last go around.

So sorry,OP.
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#9 of 15 Old 10-29-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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I have bills to pay from my son's delivery 3 months ago. One balance is $1435 and the other is $1834. Both want me to pay the minimum of $150 but I can't. I got one of them to go down to $100 a month but the other I'm just sending them $50 a month. they can take me to battle about this all they want, that's all I can afford. I'm tempted to make $80 a month payments on the one for $100.

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#10 of 15 Old 11-15-2008, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, everyone. I hate how common this sort of thing is (ie people being demanding on the phone instead of LISTENING and trying to help you work something out..)

I got a phone call from someone recently asking for payment, and when I said I could do no more than what I had stated, and kept on..I said "Then I don't know what to tell them, because I just can't." and she had to just say that we would keep on the way it already is.

I hate medical bills with a passion. I'm glad to know that I can ask not to be contacted by phone, because we are doing what we can and to have to explain it/deal with people with harrassing attitudes (if that is even proper english, but oh well : )) is just not fun.
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#11 of 15 Old 11-15-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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I was paying $50/month on a $600 bill and was sent to collections
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#12 of 15 Old 11-15-2008, 09:11 PM
 
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I guess I am lucky b/c both times I've had to set up payment plans, the hospitals have been willing to work with me. In my experience, it's the drs offices who are less willing to work with me on the bills.

We have insurance and I had to set up a payment plan to cover about $500 for a hearing test and I paid $75 per month until it was paid off. I also had to set up a payment plan to cover our portion of the hospital fees for our DS's birth two years ago. I paid $50 per month until I finally paid it off this month (just in time b/c we're having another baby later this month/early next month). Both times, the person asked what we could afford to pay and they accepted it.

I would keep calling them and explain your situation. I agree with the suggestion to call about financial assistance. in both the instances I mentioned above, I was surprised at the income limits for financial assistance. We made too much, but the income limits were much higher than I expected.

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#13 of 15 Old 11-15-2008, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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seeing_stars, our stuff is in collection too, and even when we had worked out a plan, i guess if it's not fast enough for them they really put the pressure on despite the agreement..fun stuff, isn't it?? : ( though i figure since they have things recorded/in writing, showing THEY agreed to what we can pay, well then..you know..what can they really do?? and we have nothing, it's not like they can take what we have, heh.

our bills are hospital bills..from a not so great hospital that is also a FOR profit hospital..
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#14 of 15 Old 11-20-2008, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had phone calls the past couple of days that I need to return..sigh.

I have two bills I recieved recently, but I can't do anything about them
until the end of the month. I bet that's what the calls are about, so yet
again I get to explain how I'm making payments and why, always fun!!
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#15 of 15 Old 11-20-2008, 02:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaknowsbest View Post

FYI...if you know ahead of time,that you are to have a surgery or procedure,you can ask the hospital or dr to please accept ONLY what your insurance pays(if you have it),and get it in writing. That helped our family,the last go around.
I wouldn't do this for one very huge reason. It's almost always written in the fine print of every health insurance policy that this is against the rules. A doctor or hospital that agrees to accept your insurance is not ALLOWED to accept insurance payment as 'payment in full', allowing you to avoid paying your co-pay, deductible, or cost share percentage.

If the insurance company finds out that they have done this, they can create all sorts of problems for both you and the provider.
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