Question About Medical Billsi

Updated on January 20, 2013
K.T. asks from Martinsville, IN
11 answers

Hello I have a lot of past due bills with a couple hospitals.. I know bad BUT everytime I ask them if I can send $5 each until I can get myself into a better situation they say the cannot and will not take lower than $30... if I just send them $5 can they really deny it??? My parents say its the law for them to have to except what I can pay or I it goes to court the judge will not make me pay more than I was trying to or even make them eat the cost since they denied me... is any of this true? Any experiances on same subject???

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

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

Most hospitals will accept the payment whatever it is but if there isn't an arrangement made with the hospital than they can still send you to collections for non-payment as specified in their terms. This happened to us - I paid $75 dollars on a $600 bill because I could and they sent me a "Thank You for the payment but you still need to send us XXX amount prior to Date or we will be forced to send the notice to collections.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

I work in a medical billing office, your parents are wrong! We will take no less than 25 a month and if you can't do that we will turn you over to a collection office and it goes on your credit report as an unpaid collection.

The ONLY thing the law provide for is we cannot charge interest. We have to pay our employees, our bills, our suppliers. Do you really think it is fair that you pay only five dollars a month? Would you even feel bad if someone lost their job because I can assure you that you are not the only one refusing to pay their bill.
I do want to apologize if this sounds harsh. It is just my pay, my job stability, my income is effected by the number of people that are under paying or refusing to pay their bills. You look at your money being tight but you are actually causing other people to have to tighten their budgets too. Your behavior effects others and this is something that is near to my world.
Okay reading Diane's comment, she is wrong, they can turn you over to collections even if you are making payments. Five dollars a month on a bill that is say 1,000 dollars means it will take almost twenty years to pay that!! People don't even finance cars for 20 years!

Anyway bottom line, they can and mostly likely will turn you over to collections so find an extra 25 bucks.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


They cannot deny a payment. However, the caveat is - that you MUST make REGULAR payments.

For most offices, $5 is not worth their time to process it. I know. But think about it....

Keep in mind, you owe them the money. You admit it. You want to work with them. They have the right to collect the money any way they see fit. Taking you to court will cost them money - and ultimately YOU money as they might be able to include court costs and lawyers fees in the amount.

If you have proof of denial - ANYTHING IN WRITING from their office - that would help you. Above all else - DO NOT ignore them. As long as you are making regular payments - they will MOST LIKELY NOT take you to court.

Good luck!! I am very sorry you have fallen on hard times. I'm glad to hear that you want to take responsibility for the debt instead of walking away from it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My experience w/medical providers is that they don't have to accept what you can afford. My MIL had given me the same false information and I was later sued and the provider won. I would suggest that you contact the facility to see if you qualify for a sliding scale or possibly so lesser payment arrangement. I wouldn't just expect them to write it off because they are very quick to turn matters over to their legal department. My husband & I were also sued over a PET scan he needed b/c of his cancer treatment and they wouldn't accept payments, instead they offered a credit program which we didn't qualify for as our credit had been destroyed by medical bills already forcing us into bankrupcy. It is a total catch 22 but if you speak w/them before it gets to that point, you may be able to work something out w/them. Best of luck to you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

They can and will deny it if they see fit. I for one do owe a collection agency now and yes am making monthly payments but the fact remains that what you've been told is wrong. It's interesting that many people think this is true but the fact is that if you're taken to court you will most likely end up owing more than the bill itself due to court fees. Do the best you can to keep it out of collections but if all else fails just make certain you pay if off in collections so that it will not haunt you for a lifetime. Sadly I'm paying on medical bills that should've never been my fault(I was hit by a drunk driver)and ten years later I'm still making payments.....most likely will be for the rest of my life. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

We really need more information to answer this question. How old are these bills? Have you made any previous payment arrangements? Why are you taking to someone?

In general if you have medical bills and you send them some type of payment on a regular basis, they will accept your payments no matter how small. However, if you didn't send them anything for a long period of time, if it's ready to go to collections, YES THEY CAN DENY THE $5 PAYMENT.

Your best bet is to send them a check for $5 and see what happens.

NO, IT IS NOT THE LAW for the hospitals to accept what you tell them you can pay. If you go to court, the court will determine the amount that you can afford to pay. It is true the hospital will and already is eating most of the cost, they are just trying to recoupe the small portion that they can.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Nope they can't decline any payment and as long as you are paying on the account you can't be turned over to collections. When my twins were born the pediatrician at the hospital was terrible. Once he figured out that I wasn't going to be using his practice after the twins were discharged he threw a fit and wouldn't sign their discharge papers. So when I received his bill I decided to send off a couple bucks each month. Like clockwork I'd mail off a check. After a couple months his office decided that it was more trouble than it was worth and sent off a bill writing off the balance.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

They are not going to take you to court. They can send your bill to a collection agency for collection. I've had experience with that and have never known of anyone who has gone to court over a bill. The collection agency will send you a bill and you can call them to set up a payment plan. I suppose they can take you to court but from my experience they will work with you for months before doing that.

I suggest that the hospital has a policy that any bill that is not paid monthly by at least $30 they will send for collections. $5 is not enough to pay for their time and expense in billing you.

There is no law stating how much the hospital has to accept in the way of payment. They are a business and can choose to not keep delinquent accounts.

You can pay them $5/month. They will apply that to your account. What they are saying is that if that's all you can pay, they're going to send the account to a collection agency.

I'm not sure but if the hospital is charging you late fees, going to collections may stop those charges. In one way it may be to your advantage to have the accounts go to a collection agency.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My cousin owns her own medical billing company in CA and she has told me that you should always *try* to make payment arrangements, even if it is only $5 that you can pay.

Now that doesn't necessarily translate into 'They HAVE to take it' but if I were you, I would try to send them whatever you can afford, consistently. It's worth a shot and in the event that you are sued and taken to court it would be nice to have a record showing that you were in fact *trying* to pay them back...even if it was only $5 a month!

So, I say send them a check for $5 and see what happens? Just make sure that you send them another $5 check at the same time next month and the next after and so on and so forth.

~Medical bills SUCK! My insurance enrollment papers (onto my husband's work insurance) were sitting on the HR woman's desk when I DESTROYED my elbow back in 2011. It was over MLK weekend, which was a holiday (as well as my husband's 40th b-day)and the papers were just sitting there waiting to be processed on the 20th when open enrollment started....but none the less, I wasn't yet covered and I have a $65K+ surgery bill to prove it. So devastating!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I'd say if you can't pay it you can't pay it. That's all there is to it. If you have no money you have no money. No matter how you put it, if you don't have enough money to make a payment then you can't make one.

When a collector calls me I tell them I don't have any money and to please take me off the call list. Of course they don't take me off the list but there is nothing I can do. If I had money for paying bills I'd go to the doc and get medical treatment for my health issues.

People who have enough do not have any idea how people can be poor enough to not be able to pay bills. I understand this since I am poor. I work 3 part time jobs but 2 of them are not for money. One is for barter to pay for the kids dance and gymnastics lessons. If I didn't send the kids to classes I would not be allowed to work for cash. I work about 4 hours per week helping customers pick out leotards and tap or ballet shoes. Not hard work at all.

Another of my jobs is cleaning house for my FIL. I wipe down the kitchen cabinets, steam mop the floor, make his bed, take out the trash, and clean the toilet. Same stuff I do at home. He gives us a Conoco gasoline card and asks us to keep it under a few hundred per month if possible. He has never said anything if we go over.

I iron for a couple of people and this money I get paid is what I use to pay for my shampoo and other toiletries/ I file this as income every year. I hardly ever make enough to pay anything though.

So when a bill collector calls I tell them I have no money. They can't do anything to me, I have no income they can garnish, they can sue me but there is nothing they can do to me. I wish I had money to pay the bills but if I had money there wouldn't be any bills because I would be able to pay for health care. That's what it really comes down to.

I have no insurance so if I need medical care my only choice is to go to the ER. I can't pay that high bill so they send if off to the collection agency. Although they do occasionally let the bill go to their social services department and they write the bills off for the whole amount.

It's hot how I imagined living at my age. My hubby's heart attack and 100% blockages inside his heart along with a couple of aneurysms really threw a money wrench in his career and our retirement.

He had a quadruple bypass. He still has issues with his leg because that's the hardest part to heal and not get over. So he is now on SSDI.

We are raising 2 of my 7 grand kids. So the kids get a little bit of child support, I use that for their needs. With hubby's SSDI and the child support we don't qualify for any programs such as food stamps or financial assistance. We do qualify for food banks and programs like that.

So I'd say don't worry about the bills and pay what you can pay when you can make a payment. BUT as long as they have the bill they are building interest on the amount. Any payment you pay will most likely go to interest only and not bring the principle down any at all. So make sure you talk to them and try to get the interest stopped so any money goes to make the bill less.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Depends on how much you owe. $5 on $1500.00 probably won't cut it.

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

Related Questions