Insurance Billing Keep-a-way
August 10, 2019 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Have an ambulance bill bounced back and forth between auto insurance and health insurance for so long that now both claim they don't have to pay.

I have a bill from last July, an ambulance ride following a car accident.

The bill is from the City of Cranston RI and the city's private billing group. The auto insurance and health insurance should have covered the bill but have been ping ponging the bill back and forth since it first arrived last September. Deductibles payed, over out of pocket maximum, full personal injury coverage.... BUT Send it to one, rejected without explanation told to bill to the other, rinse repeat with month or two waiting each time each go round. Now I'm not new to this, I have a seizure condition and get ambulances called on me somewhat frequently and know they are the worst part of medical care. --nothing worse than waking up in an ambulance I didn't call knowing that it's going to be a months long head ache financially--

But now both sides have taken so long that they state it's too far outside the coverage time to make a claim and are rejecting it, city of cranston is of course sending in the final notice and threatening collections. I've spoken repeatedly with all parties involved I have this chain of events well documented but have reached a total dead end.

So now I have an $2000 bill I know I shouldn't have to pay, and to compound things, cannot afford to pay just to make this go away. But it's going to collections in a week if I don't pay it.

2 part question is:

1. what if any recourse remains to me at this point?
2. is it better to assume credit card debt I won't be able to readily repay or let the medical debt lapse to collections?
posted by French Fry to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's time to get angry and force a party that you believe is the most responsible to pay. I think, since it was from the car accident and that your first thought was that it should go to auto insurance, that would be the one. Unless the accident was determined to have been caused by your preexisting condition or seizure disorder... then I'd be on the line with managers who can actually make a change to their decision with them. If all else fails, I'd be talking with the ambulance service and telling them that they need to follow up with the most responsible insuring agent to get their payment, and tell them why - before it goes to collections.

Sometimes, as you well know, insurance adjusters will pass the buck as often as they can get away with it - and they don't actually do anything until they are yelled at. I hate having to be this way, but sometimes a situation can get so frustrating - and that's what they're there for! Insist on speaking to someone higher up. Stay on the line and get the person's name and employee ID and write down the date and time of who you spoke to. I say, "yelled at", but I mean firmly, with determination, and not taking "no" for an answer (and avoid swearing, although you can get loud and upset) - if it gets to that, explain your reasoning and get someone higher again. Tell them that they can take it up with the other insurer if you like, but you've determined that this particular party is the most responsible, and thus should pay. Make them see reason, and don't let them off the hook!
posted by itsflyable at 1:42 PM on August 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'd lawyer up. It'll be cheaper than dicking around with adjusters after you've inadvertently taught them that they can avoid paying by stalling and pointing at the other guy. If (on your laywer's advice, of course) you were to sue both insurers and the city, demanding a resolution that takes into account everyone's obligations under your contracts of insurance, I bet this gets sorted out right quick.
posted by spacewrench at 1:46 PM on August 10, 2019

RI has an Insurance Department where you can file a complaint. That page also has the link to file a complaint about insurers, which you should do -- it will be investigated.

I mean, I might actually call your auto insurer on Monday and tell them that if they do not pay the bill, you will be filing a complaint with the Consumer Services Division of the Rhode Island Insurance Department. And if they don't fall in line, I would do that immediately.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:31 PM on August 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

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