Collection and Medical bills................HELP!!!!

Updated on October 01, 2008
A.H. asks from Allen, TX
4 answers

3 weeks before giving birth to my son my insurance changed(by my employers, had no say since it's fully covered by them) and I ended up with lots of medicalls bills(unexpected) and I never or could not save anymore than I could for my maternity leave. We also have a disputed bill from cirro energy for $900 (yes i typed the right numbers!!):thank god i switch to a different electric provider), so that and the medicall bills that have been coming in I am overwhelmed to say the least. We are on one income until I go back to work at the end of December. We do not have any extra money to pay for the medical bills or the electric bill and I know eventually the bills will go to collection agencies.
My questions is how do I deal with collection agencies (never dealt with them)and will this really harm my credit (which is really good now). I have tried to set up payment with some of the bills but the monthly payment they are wanting i cannot afford and they will not budge. One of the reps just told me to wait until it goes to collection they might be able to lower the payment plan.
Please help, I really don't want to mess my credit up if I just ignore these bills, but i really don't have the extra money to pay these people.

*****I just wanted to add that I did call each account as soon as i got all these bills in the mail, but the lowest payment they want to set me up for is $75.00 a month(for each account, so far there are 4 not including Cirro Energy). They will not budge and I don't want to tell them yes when i know i cannot afford that amount for each's just way to high.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

My mom worked in medical billing and she always told me to ask for a Hardship from the hospital. Most major hospitals have this but you only get it when you ask for it. If one collection person won't listen to you ask to be transferred. Also as long as you pay something they can't say you aren't trying to clear the bill. As a teenager I got a job scanning the checks that came in to hospital. You would be surprised how many $1 to $5 payments I saw!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes, the bills will mess up your credit rating - that will happen regardless whether they are sent to collection agencies. However, if in the future you are able to get back on your feet and you try to get a house loan or something, often you can explain away a one-time problem with your credit - i.e. an unexpected large set of medical bills because your insurance changed right before delivery. To deal with collection agencies, just be firm and don't let them badger you; you have rights. You do owe the money and you should do what you can to pay, but you may not be harrassed by the debt collectors. Have you tried to talk to the social worker at the hospital to see if you qualify for some relief or assistance, considering the medical diagnosis of your son and your financial difficulties? Sometimes some medical bills can be forgiven. If you ever need to talk to a lawyer, you can get free representation through the North Texas Legal Services - you can google the name or look in the blue pages of your phone book. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Sorry to hear about the medical insurance change over and the impact it has had on your life. I know of people with similiar situations that were allowed to be carried through birth. I would check with the hospital advocacy program and see if they can direct you to assistance on the insurance changeover and the medical bills. I had surgery and went in telling my dr & the hospital I would not be able to pay off any excess billing charges. They sent an advocate to my room and the hospital and dr wrote off a large portion of the bill. I did have to prove my unability to pay, but hey, I could survive financially and not have the stress on me. If you pay something on the bill monthly without missing a payment, even $5, you stay out of collections on medical bills. Call the Dr ofc and tell them you will be able to pay this amount for this timeframe and you will renegotiate after you return to work. Give yourself time for your budget to catch up to you being back at work and a 2nd mouth/diapers to provide before you set a new amount to pay. They will work with you. You can be bold and ask them if the Dr will consider writing off part of the charges. They don't know until a person asks. On dealing with creditors...INSIST THEY PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING, that takes the emotion out of it. Even though the creditors would not budge on the amount they would accept they will. DON'T LET IT GO TO THE COLLECTION AGENCIES!!! Write a letter to each creditor, tell them the amount you can pay monthly until set timeframe and then at that time write another letter and give the new timeframe and amount you can pay. Collection agencies do affect your credit history as well as you will be impacted on your auto/home insurance rates and the list goes on. There is a book called, "BACK OFF" by Benjamin Dover that gives great advice on dealing with creditors and explains your rights. It may be out of print, not sure. When I found out about it I got out the yellow pages and called 20 or so bookstores until I found a copy and I bought it. Good luck finding it, it's worth the trouble trying to find it.
On your electric bill, contact 211 and ask for organizations that assist financially during difficult times for you city. They usually have two or three listings. If not, contact the electric company and ask them. Some cities have programs set up within their own companies. At best if you find no programs available to help you, send them a letter and send them the $5 a month until you can up it and get it paid off. Friends of mine had a difficult time and the electric company said they wrote it off after 8 yrs. They moved back in town reestablished electricity with the only electric company (pre choice) and they added that to their bill after 3 months of service. OUCH! Get the book and keep your head up. It's about empowering yourself with knowledge of your rights. Do it right away because with our economy being so unstable this situation is going to increase and they can only handle so many writeoffs before you get NO. Best of life to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you constantly had some insurance, even if the company changed, your new insurance is required to cover the expenses from your birth. They'll say that they don't have to, and try to get out of it, but you should fight this tooth and nail. I had similar experience with a surgery--my insurance changed, because of a change in employer, between when the condition developed and when the surgery took place. I fought this for MONTHS, but they did eventually pay. All insurance agencies have a "preexisting conditions" clause, but if you were constantly covered by SOME insurance, they still have to pay. Don't take no for an answer. Call the insurance agency, and ask to speak to a supervisor, and then the supervisor's supervisor, until you get someone who actually knows something. Also go through HR at your employer, and have them file a complaint. Finally, if necessary, talk to a lawyer. I ended up sending a big packet of documents certified mail, with a receipt so I could prove that the insurance company received them, containing letters and proof of constant insurance. I also wrote a letter saying that my next step would be a letter from my lawyer (luckily, I have a friend from high school who's a lawyer--he never had to write the letter, but I he would have, if I'd asked). FINALLY, after fighting this for 6-8 mos, the insurance paid.

Health insurance companies will always try to get out of paying things they should. Don't believe them. We had to contest as well when my DD had surgery, and go through HR at my husband's work. The system's a mess, and the insurance companies count on most people giving up before they get what they're entitled to. Keep at it, and if you don't understand something, make folks keep explaining until you do. Read your policy carefully (I know it's terribly boring and confusing!), and be prepared to cite page numbers when you talk to people. It's a pain, but it's worth it--both monetarily for you family, and in the interest of making insurance companies live up to their commitments! GL!

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches