How Long Do I Have Before My Bill Is Sent to Collections?
June 13, 2010 10:51 PM Subscribe
I've just been sent a ridiculous medical bill that my insurance has denied. Anyone out there who's fought the insurance company and won who has any helpful advice for this poor grad student?
posted by neko75 to Work & Money (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
$800 for one blood test!? They claim it wasn't necessary, and my benefit has been exceeded. I disagree. Like most matters of this sort, it's a mess-- I'm obviously appealing to the insurance company, and I'm going to call the doctor and see if there's anything I can work out/clarify there but this, realistically, is a lot of people's fault (my HR, for duplicating me in the computer system and thus making it appear I had twice the benefits I actually did, the doctor, for not telling me how much the test would cost, and me, for taking them at their word it was covered), and I have a feeling that, as the only party without corporate lawyers, I'm going to be the one left holding the bag.
I can pay the bill, but it's half my monthly income and so this one-time failure to badger my doctor about cost will pretty much wipe out a year's worth of savings. Ouch: lesson learned. Assuming my appeal fails, I'm not trying to dodge it, I'm just looking for ways to minimize the financial pain.
One idea I had would be to use my Health Savings Account, but I won't have enough funds until the new year. So, I know YANML or my financial advisor, but, ballpark, how long can one put off paying a bill before it gets sent to collections? Do I have until January? I have no desire to destroy my credit on top of reducing myself to penury. If I don't have until then, would I have any success setting up some kind of payment plan to buy myself some time until then? Any insurance battle techniques also welcome.