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Your rights and options concerning medical debts

Can debt collectors request copies of my credit reports?Medical debts and bills fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because medical debt meets the definition of a “debt” under rule 803(5):

This rule defines “debt” as, “a consumer’s obligation to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance, or services are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.”

The rule goes on to state the term “debt” also includes overdue obligations such as medical bills that were originally payable in full within a certain time period (e.g., 30 days); dishonored checks that were tendered in payment for goods or services acquired or used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; and student loans, because the consumer is purchasing “services” (education) for personal use.

The term “debt” does not include unpaid taxes, fines, alimony, or tort claims, because they are not debts incurred from a “transaction (involving purchase of) property . . . or services . . . for personal, family or household purposes.”

Medical Insurance:

Two common mistakes:

  1. Thinking that your insurance company is responsible for paying your medical bills and,
  2. Thinking medical providers are required to bill your insurance company.

The truth is, consumers are responsible for their own medical debts. This means consumers must ensure their insurance company is billed in a timely manner and billed correctly. It also means they must follow up in a timely manner to ensure the medical bill gets paid.

As a convenience for you, most medical providers will offer to bill your insurance company. Accepting their offer does not relieve you of the responsibility of ensuring the medical bill gets paid. It’s not uncommon for medical providers to submit medical bills after an insurance company’s deadline for filing. In some cases, the provider may, for a number of odd reasons, not submit the medical bill at all. Regardless of the reason, the bottom line is that the consumer is still responsible for paying off the medical debt.

In some cases, your insurance company may reject the bill or flat out refuse to pay. If this happens, the medical provider will expect you to pay the bill and, unless you’ve disputed the debt, you are legally expected to pay the bill in a timely manner. The fact that your insurance company did not pay is not the medical provider’s concern! You may have to argue with your insurance company or go through dispute resolution but, the medical provider is entitled to timely payment. You may have to pay the provider yourself and then work with your insurance company to get reimbursed.

Medical Debts

If you believe a a medial bill is being collected wrongly, or you believe you are a victim of illegal or unfair debt collection practices, submit your information to a FREE* Fair Debt Lawyer.

Always read the medical provider paperwork (contract for services rendered) carefully!

Medical Bill Disputes:
Medical bills and old medical debts that you consider invalid can be disputed just like any other debt.
Disputing Medical Debts

Just like any debt, interest can be added to medical bills IF the original contract or paperwork allows it AND your state law does not prohibit it. Even if the original paperwork allows it, ALWAYS check your state law to make sure you are not being overcharged. Some states limit the amount of interest and the amount of collection fees.

Statute of Limitations on Medical Debts:
Medical debts are generally considered closed-ended credit contracts with a definite pay-off time limit. Unless you have a separate agreement, medical debts are usually payable at the time services are rendered or, in some cases within 30 days. Check your State’s Statute of Limitations (SoL)

confidential informationThere may be instances where discussing your situation over a public forum could potentially compromise your interests. On these occasions we will contact you directly via email in order to answer your inquiry in a confidential manner.


  1. Recently as I left one job and went to another I was without healthcare insurance and had to visit an emergency room for 9 staples. I received a bill from the hospital but never got one from the treating physicians group. I received a letter from Trevor Solutions In another state that was vague about who they represented. I contacted them and they said they could not give out information about the group they represented as it would be a HIPPA violation then proceeded to ask me all sorts of questions. I was not comfortable giving important information to some by phone as they were not forthcoming about what the reason for contacting me was. I soon started receiving phone calls and tried returning them but never could reach an agent even though the automated answering system stated their hours of operation. I eventually got a third and final warning letter with a law firms emblem on the top stating it was my last opportunity to cooperate by rendering the required information. I then contacted Trevor Solutions and tried to ask them for an itemized bill of the debt I owed. The agent claimed he didn’t have to send me one and I asked how much he would accept that day to stop the calls and he claimed he wouldn’t accept payments. when I asked how I was to pay for the debt he answered they would go to collections. I eventually got the physicians group, Schumakers Doctor Group to send me an itemized bill which I received at about 72 days after treatment. They were puzzled as to why I never was sent a bill as Trevor Solutions was to work on the subjugation of charges with me. The hospital bill had some double and false charges that I was able to dispute in person but the people I am to dispute the physicians group bill with is Trevor Solutions who says they cant share information with me and doesn’t have to send a bill to me and while they wont take any payments from me will collect through their in house lawyers. I still have 22 days to file a dispute about the bill the treating doctor has filed with his physicians group and have concerns about how to prevent this from going to collections as it seems to be the path Trevor Solutions wishes to take. Any help or advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I await your response and thank you for your time

    • Amongst the vast array of credit charges consumers incur, medical bills are amongst the most inaccurate and ripe for dispute. And if charges are deemed inaccurate, or validation processes not followed, medical bills turn into FDCPA cases that can earn consumers up to $1,000 or more, plus a lawyer at no charge to the consumer. Now even though everyone would like collections to be perfect, they are not, and the this consumer protection law was enacted to be used. Learn info on disputing debt collections here or just hire LawCent to perform all your debt collection and credit report disputes for as little as $20 a month. If you aren’t satisfied with the services, cancel before you pay the prior month’s bill — even after they send the disputes! Sign up through this site and pay One Cent to hire the LawCent legal team. Learn more about LawCent.

  2. My insurance company didn’t pay claims for a good period of time because it said I had 2 insurance companies, after I submitted prof I didn’t they said they would pay the bills, I have over 20 accounts in collections because they never paid them, when I called they said they were suppose to be paid back in June of 2014. I was denied credit because of the collections. What can I do?

  3. I know there is a limit on the time a doctor must submit a bill to the insurance companies but is there a time statute on how long after insurance pays before doctor can send bills for copay? If an ins co pays within 60 days shouldn’t the copay be billed to pt immediately not nine months later?

  4. Similar to Fran’s question dated 5/28/15….How about receiving a bill for an additional co-pay from the provider EIGHT YEARS later?

  5. Michelle Jordan

    So my daughter had to have emergency surgery in March. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of April. We now owe money to several different medical facilities.
    I have one facility that does not want to work with us on the repayment plan because we make to much money. I have explained to them that I am going to be out of work for a number of weeks possibly months so our income is going to be substantially less and I don’t want to commit to something that I will ultimately default on.
    I just want to know what my rights are when it comes to repaying. Am I required to pay what they demand or am I legally able to pay what I can?
    I don’t want this to go to collections but I just can’t pay what they are demanding. As it is I have been out of work for 2.5 weeks this time around.

  6. It is 7/06/2015, doctor’s office is try to collect for bills from 2011 and 2012. As far as I know they were paid.

  7. hi i was sued by a hospital listed as plaintiff on case i called hospital and they sent me a itemized bill for the 9 accounts that had all a zero balance and a bad debt write off listed. i have a letter from plaintiff aka hospital stating i owe them zero dollars its my understanding of the law that company suing me a collection agency is false representing themselves and it should be fraud and thrown out of court due to a number of reasons i even have to send the check to them and i am not allowed to pay hospital that is plaintiff. if i am being sued for a debt that a collector has bought or picked up i have to be sued by that collector is this not true?

  8. Kimber Daugherty

    My husband just passed away after several years of being ill. I have a collection company telling me I am responsible for his medical debts that were not covered by insurance. I live in Colorado. Does anyone know if I am legally responsible.

  9. I have a few medical collections bills on my credit report from a hospital visit. I never received an itemized bill, only bills from collections agency. The hospital/medical office is closed and they filed for bankruptcy. Am i still liable for the bills to the collection agency?

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