Author Topic: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection  (Read 8388 times)

kaizen

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Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« on: January 07, 2015, 11:38:32 AM »
I got a call from a debt collection agency (ok, several, that I ignored for a month - but I finally called them back today), and they are attempting to collect a $235 medical bill for tests ordered by my doctor back when I was pregnant in late 2013.

I ran my credit report, and it's on there. Probably effing up my score but I didn't want to pay to see that. This wouldn't matter except that we have two major upcoming credit worthiness events: we are planning to move this year and we are also in the process of re-financing my husband's 150K student loan (down from 208K this time last yr, whoot!). He will need me to co-sign for the re-fi since he's in a commission job right now, so I kinda need good credit.

Now, my initial reaction is NO WAY am I paying this bullshit, as I did not okay these tests! Of course I wanted the HcG one to see how far along I was (tho I already knew, but it's standard medical procedure). But I did NOT agree to a bunch of unnecessary unrequired STD tests, which frankly were insulting. I am married. This is kid #2. Eff that noise. (I left that dr's care and went to another one, for an unrelated reason; he was back up to my midwife anyway.)

I wrote to the medical lab company back in 2013 that I had not agreed to these tests, send me a break out and I'll pay for the HcG, blah blah blah, but they never got back to me, and now this is happening. Per the debt collection agency, I need to call my doctor (I did and left a message), and if he agrees the tests were made in error he'd need to call the lab, and then the lab would need to call the agency, to get this removed from my credit history. So a bunch of other ppl have to do a bunch of stuff for this to get removed.

Or I just pay the damn thing. We have the funds. But this really pisses me off.

What would you do?

Jack

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 11:46:32 AM »
I'd check a Discover card statement or Credit Karma or something and find out whether it was hurting my credit score enough to care about.

Then I'd refuse to pay the debt as a matter of principle, and hound the doctor / lab / insurance to fix their shit. But I make no claims that that's the best move in light of the impending student loan re-fi & mortgage.

LadyStache

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 11:49:56 AM »
I got a bill from a lab company once because some tests were not covered by my insurance. When I called them I discovered that my doctor gave them my old (expired) insurance information and not the current info, so we just had to straighten that out and I didn't owe anything. If you had insurance at the time, you might want to confirm whether or not the tests should have been covered.

GoldenStache

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 11:52:50 AM »
But I did NOT agree to a bunch of unnecessary unrequired STD tests, which frankly were insulting.

I am confused.  Did they take blood for the tests, usually a separate vial(s)?  The reason I ask is that I went to a Dr that required a three page waiver for not getting the STD checks.  Their goal was to get the insurance money for the "extra" work.  I gladly filled out the waiver to piss them off and never returned. 

NonprofitER

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 12:00:08 PM »
I'd probably just pay it to avoid the hassle - considering the other re-fi goal you mentioned.  As much as it can be a matter of principle... I'd hate to argue over such an old debt/misunderstanding when the relative cost of paying it is so small.  You'd probably win in the long run, but waste hours of your life on phone calls and waiting for other people to feel motivated enough to do the right thing. 

DoNorth

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 12:01:42 PM »
If it was under $100, you could leave it alone without much consequence, but it's very likely the credit damage is already done if the bill is in collections.  Since you didn't fix the problem while it was with the hospital, you don't have many options.  See if the collections agency will settle for a lesser amount...say half or less, get the assurances in writing, and send payment via certified mail.  Your ability to dispute something like this, is unfortunately somewhat time sensitive.  What you don't want is to have is an outstanding judgement show up on your report when you're trying to rent, buy, or refinance a loan.  huge red flag even for something that is a few hundred dollars.

kaizen

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 12:09:22 PM »
Thanks all.

I did have insurance at the time, and the $235 is the amount remaining AFTER insurance paid their "share" of the bill.

I honestly don't remember whether they took one or more vials of blood. Something to look out for in future! (Though we're done with kiddos.)

I will spring for the $4.95 credit score check - but will that show me how much my score is lowered?

epipenguin

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 12:17:55 PM »
I don't understand why it is erroneous if you had the tests done? It's not like they took someone else's blood and mixed up their name with yours. Also, I thought that STD tests were standard when pregnant. I find it less insulting that they test everyone as opposed to the doctor or nurse making a decision on which people to test based on whether or not they were married or looked untrustworthy or whatever.

I got a surprise bill for some blood tests that I didn't realize weren't covered for free as part of my annual physical. I had OK'd them, but also I had specifically said to the doctor that I'd take whatever test that was free. But...eh. The doctor isn't necessarily going to know the ins and outs of every insurance plan. I paid up. I hadn't checked properly before having the tests done. I would pay up if I were you too.

GizmoTX

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 12:20:39 PM »
I wouldn't pay up unless I had a guarantee that it would be removed from all the credit agencies, & then only after verifying with the doctor that the bill was correct & coded properly.

Eric

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 12:24:14 PM »
I'm not a credit score expert by any means, but I'd dispute the charge with the credit agencies.  At the very least, they should restore your credit score to the previous level until the dispute is resolved (whether in your favor or not).  I don't think they move all that fast, so maybe you can squeeze your credit worthy events in before they've settled the dispute. 

studentdoc2

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 12:37:17 PM »
I just wanted to chime in with a more medical point about your "unneccessary unrequired tests". The STD tests are actually pretty important.... Many STDs can have serious effects on a fetus -- effects that can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment of the STD. It doesn't matter if a patients reports to be married and/or monogamous. Cheating can and does happen (thus the risk for contracting an STD), unbeknownst to one member of the core couple -- and even if known to both members of the couple, an individual is frequently unlikely to report it to their physician. Further, an individual may have an STD and not know it (many people do not exhibit symptoms). A physician ordering an STD test is not making a moral judgement or implying that they think such "indiscretions" are occurring  -- but, statistically, these things are not uncommon, and a simple test now (for all women) can prevent much more costly and health-threatening issues in the future. There are very few doctors I've ever met who use these tests as a way to get a little extra money out of a patient -- most are genuinely acting in their patients' (both the mother and her child) best interest.

Should you have been informed? Sure, I agree. And I can understand why you might be frustrated that a physician would insist on a test. But should you encounter something similar from a physician in the future, I encourage you not to take it as deceitful or greedy on the part of the physician or as a moral judgement.

Just my two cents. Hope you get the debt collection thing worked out -- it's never fun to deal with.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 12:41:28 PM »
Quote
But I did NOT agree to a bunch of unnecessary unrequired STD tests, which frankly were insulting. I am married. This is kid #2.

In the doctor's defense - (s)he was practicing GOOD MEDICINE.

Just because you were married and ASSUMED that your partner was faithful - does not mean that it was impossible for your partner to be cheating on you without your knowledge and exposing you to an STD.  The consequences to the baby of an untreated STD could be catastrophic.  And sadly, MOST women do not know it when their partners are cheating on them. 

Despite being in the medical profession and knowing this myself, I would have sworn my husband of 20+ years was faithful. Guess what - he was not.

Pay the bill.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 12:43:05 PM by frugaldrummer »

Numbers Man

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2015, 12:52:28 PM »
Paying a bill that is in collections will not increase your FICO Score. The only thing you can do is to dispute this bill in writing. It will still be on your report. It seems like the business that produces a bill is always right (sarcasm).

The same thing happened to my son since we refused to pay 2 emergency bills because we cited incompetence by the hospital. The hospital's accounting department never answered the phone when we called (understaffed) so we finally gave up and forgot about it. In the meantime this bill was sold to a collection agency. We couldn't get a student loan from Discover a couple of years later because of this. We had to pay the bill and give Discover proof of payment before a loan was approved. All of this on my 18 year old son's credit report. BTW - The collection action is still on his credit report and still negatively impacts him.

The FICO Score is very important to lenders and they scrutinize negative actions on your report.

TerriM

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2015, 02:07:12 PM »
Break this out into a couple of things:

1.  If the tests were done, you're going to have some difficulty arguing with the collection agency.  They don't care *why* you don't want the tests done, they just want money.

2.  I totally get your pissed-off ness, but as someone who's not emotionally tangled, I'd suggest that paying $235 to just get done with a fight that you might lose is pretty cheap.  I've been on the receiving end of collection calls for a relative who didn't live with me, and debt collectors are just pissy nasty.  Won't tell me why they're calling, rude jerks, talk back to you, and hang up before you can tell them to stop.  Only way to force them to stop is to write a letter sent certified mail stating that you don't know where the relative lives!  How do i even get an address?

3.  They will probably continue to up the amount they say you owe, the more time passes.

I'd pay the $235--it's the hospital you needed to have the argument with long ago.

TerriM

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2015, 02:09:13 PM »
Despite being in the medical profession and knowing this myself, I would have sworn my husband of 20+ years was faithful. Guess what - he was not.

Pay the bill.

Ouch.  So sorry to hear that frugal drummer. :(

Cassie

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2015, 02:25:53 PM »
paying the bill will be better in the long run.

kaizen

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2015, 02:33:01 PM »
Thanks everybody. I am mentally prepping myself to just pay this off, with some grumbling. I will definitely check with the doctor first. And only after that, I will insist upon written assurance from this company that the debt WILL be removed from my credit history. (And I'll also ask about paying a fraction of the bill.)

Btw, looks like my score went down to 688, so like a 30 point drop.

I appreciate the point some of you have made about the Dr practicing good medicine. Logically, I do know you'd need to test everyone because you really don't know what the person or their partner is actually up to (everybody lies, as Dr. House would say). (If it's really required though, I'd think insurance would have actually covered it since I had some pretty bombass coverage that year.)

And to frugal drummer - that's really crappy. :(

netskyblue

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2015, 02:48:41 PM »
paying the bill will be better in the long run.

This.  I'd have never let my credit get f'd up over a $235 charge.  Not even remotely worth it.

And I'm not sure it can even be called an erroneous charge - they DID perform the test.  You might have a case if they charged you for a test they never performed.  Do you have any proof that you refused the test? 

And it may or may not impact your ability to get credit.  At my business, we refuse to consider medical debt in our decision to extend credit (which is dumb, IMO, but I don't make that call.)

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2015, 03:43:03 PM »
Get everything in writing. Dispute the debt if you want, but make sure it's in writing. If they provide proof of the debt (or you just want to pay them to go away), insist that you're not admitting to owing the debt, but will pay in exchange for removing it from your credit report AND they will consider it paid in full and NOT pursue further collection. You can look elsewhere for the proper wording, but in essence you want this removed from your credit report, and make sure they don't simply pass along the unpaid portion to yet another debt collector (if you pay $100 to settle the $235 owed, they could sell that debt to another collector and you now owe this other collector $135 plus whatever fees they tack on).

southern granny

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2015, 04:50:55 PM »
It was to protect the baby.  They probably also put drops in the babies eyes right after birth to protect him in case you had an STD.  You can't blame them for not taking the parents' word that they haven't been exposed to STDs.  I vote with those who said to pay the bill. 

frugaldrummer

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2015, 05:03:58 PM »
Quote
(If it's really required though, I'd think insurance would have actually covered it since I had some pretty bombass coverage that year.)

(

Insurance definitely should have covered it.  Probably too late to fight it now, but should have fought with the insurance company at the time.  Often it's just a matter of the doctor having to put some different diagnostic codes on the test request.

Quote
And to frugal drummer - that's really crappy. :

Ah, no worries - since my divorce, I've learned to play the drums in a punk band, got to perform in another friend's band at SXSW, and my new boyfriend is 6'3", 8 years younger, tall dark and handsome, and treats me like a princess.  :)  You just never know how things will turn out!

mochila

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2015, 07:05:17 PM »
Get everything in writing. Dispute the debt if you want, but make sure it's in writing. If they provide proof of the debt (or you just want to pay them to go away), insist that you're not admitting to owing the debt, but will pay in exchange for removing it from your credit report AND they will consider it paid in full and NOT pursue further collection. You can look elsewhere for the proper wording, but in essence you want this removed from your credit report, and make sure they don't simply pass along the unpaid portion to yet another debt collector (if you pay $100 to settle the $235 owed, they could sell that debt to another collector and you now owe this other collector $135 plus whatever fees they tack on).

This. Before you pay, make sure the collection agency agrees, in writing, to consider the debt paid and to delete it from your credit report. Then hang onto that letter. Derogatory accounts will sink your credit score, and you don't want the debt being sold and returning on your credit report.

Surprise medical bills are annoying. Last summer my dentist decided to do a fancy procedure, and I agreed, since our insurance is great and had covered stuff like this before. Well guess what? The terms had changed and I arrived home after two months abroad to find a bill and a dunning letter for $175, which I paid with minimal muttering.

Take comfort in the fact that annoying surprise expenses like these are just annoying surprises, and no more. If you can pay with a checking account or credit card that gives you rewards, then so much the better. Also, congratulations on the baby.

TreeTired

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2015, 07:20:59 PM »
Quote
I will insist upon written assurance from this company that the debt WILL be removed from my credit history. (And I'll also ask about paying a fraction of the bill.)

<====    Glad you have this part covered.   My one and only debt issue -  I went back and forth with the finance company.  I kept insisting I didn't owe them money so they turned it over to collections.  I finally decided to settle with the assholes just to put the whole thing to rest,  so we finally agreed to split the amount.  I paid half which satisfied the collection agency.... and they left it on my credit report!   Annoying as hell, but ultimately I didn't care because I wasn't applying for credit and nobody pulled my credit cards.   

Future Lazy

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2015, 09:41:46 AM »
Paying it outright will renew the issue as another "late" or "delinquent" on your score, and could drop it further.

I would negotiate with the company to pay part of the charge, as small a part as possible, and get it in writing that the charge will be completely removed from your report. OFC, get that in writing before you pay. Chances are this is best done by writing a letter to the collections agency, or to the doctor themselves, whomever actually holds the debt. Usually if a doctor has sold the late bill to a collections agency, they no longer have it/care about it.

Try seeking advice here as well:
http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Rebuilding-Your-Credit/bd-p/rebuildingcredit



Quote
But I did NOT agree to a bunch of unnecessary unrequired STD tests, which frankly were insulting. I am married. This is kid #2.

In the doctor's defense - (s)he was practicing GOOD MEDICINE.

Just because you were married and ASSUMED that your partner was faithful - does not mean that it was impossible for your partner to be cheating on you without your knowledge and exposing you to an STD.  The consequences to the baby of an untreated STD could be catastrophic.  And sadly, MOST women do not know it when their partners are cheating on them. 

Despite being in the medical profession and knowing this myself, I would have sworn my husband of 20+ years was faithful. Guess what - he was not.

Pay the bill.

+1 FrugalDrummer

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2015, 12:49:41 PM »
Get everything in writing. Dispute the debt if you want, but make sure it's in writing. If they provide proof of the debt (or you just want to pay them to go away), insist that you're not admitting to owing the debt, but will pay in exchange for removing it from your credit report AND they will consider it paid in full and NOT pursue further collection. You can look elsewhere for the proper wording, but in essence you want this removed from your credit report, and make sure they don't simply pass along the unpaid portion to yet another debt collector (if you pay $100 to settle the $235 owed, they could sell that debt to another collector and you now owe this other collector $135 plus whatever fees they tack on).

This. Before you pay, make sure the collection agency agrees, in writing, to consider the debt paid and to delete it from your credit report. Then hang onto that letter. Derogatory accounts will sink your credit score, and you don't want the debt being sold and returning on your credit report.

Surprise medical bills are annoying. Last summer my dentist decided to do a fancy procedure, and I agreed, since our insurance is great and had covered stuff like this before. Well guess what? The terms had changed and I arrived home after two months abroad to find a bill and a dunning letter for $175, which I paid with minimal muttering.

Take comfort in the fact that annoying surprise expenses like these are just annoying surprises, and no more. If you can pay with a checking account or credit card that gives you rewards, then so much the better. Also, congratulations on the baby.

I had a similar surprise - I went for the one free yearly checkup that's supposed to be part of Obamacare. I mentioned that my knee had been hurting and talked to the physician's assistant about that. Because I asked a question, I got a bill for $73.41. So I know not to do that again.

bacchi

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2015, 06:01:24 PM »
I had a similar surprise - I went for the one free yearly checkup that's supposed to be part of Obamacare. I mentioned that my knee had been hurting and talked to the physician's assistant about that. Because I asked a question, I got a bill for $73.41. So I know not to do that again.

I almost got caught by this too. Thankfully, my GP was cool and marked it as a covered annual. WTF is an annual for if you can't ask a simple question about your health?


OP: Was the debt sold or is it just in collections? That's important to know, as KaylaEM wrote.


Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2015, 08:54:41 PM »
Not to pile on but the test is actually part of the standard of care.  Your doctor was right for ordering it, married or not.  For the refi, if you are going with SoFi, make sure you use a referral code.  You will get $100! Mine is in my sig.  If he already made an account you can give SoFi someone's email address and say they referred you but you forgot to click the link.  They will still give you (and the referrer) the credit. PM me if you need mine.  Congrats on your baby!

Midas

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2015, 09:51:47 PM »
Has anyone had much luck with getting doctors to tell you up front what something will cost before they do anything?

After being badly burned to the tune of hundreds of dollars for what I thought was a trivial procedure (only took 5 minutes), I'm very reluctant to have them do a single thing to me without asking them to show me in writing what it is going to cost me.

This used to not be a big deal because I didn't have deductible at all before, but thanks to Obamacare I now have one =(.

I don't see why it's a problem to just tell someone up front what something will cost and get an agreement on it like with everything else I buy in life. Getting a surprise bill in the mail for a ridiculous sum is just wrong.

TerriM

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2015, 10:53:57 PM »
Has anyone had much luck with getting doctors to tell you up front what something will cost before they do anything?

After being badly burned to the tune of hundreds of dollars for what I thought was a trivial procedure (only took 5 minutes), I'm very reluctant to have them do a single thing to me without asking them to show me in writing what it is going to cost me.

This used to not be a big deal because I didn't have deductible at all before, but thanks to Obamacare I now have one =(.

I don't see why it's a problem to just tell someone up front what something will cost and get an agreement on it like with everything else I buy in life. Getting a surprise bill in the mail for a ridiculous sum is just wrong.

Honestly, the doctors generally don't know because it's dealt with by the insurance company.  I've always been told to call the insurance company. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2015, 05:34:36 AM »
Has anyone had much luck with getting doctors to tell you up front what something will cost before they do anything?

After being badly burned to the tune of hundreds of dollars for what I thought was a trivial procedure (only took 5 minutes), I'm very reluctant to have them do a single thing to me without asking them to show me in writing what it is going to cost me.

This used to not be a big deal because I didn't have deductible at all before, but thanks to Obamacare I now have one =(.

I don't see why it's a problem to just tell someone up front what something will cost and get an agreement on it like with everything else I buy in life. Getting a surprise bill in the mail for a ridiculous sum is just wrong.

Honestly, the doctors generally don't know because it's dealt with by the insurance company.  I've always been told to call the insurance company.

Yep, they have no idea. Medical economics are all messed up in the US and recent changes seem to have if anything exacerbated it.

Frugal Consumerist

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2015, 06:09:38 AM »
I'm not a credit score expert by any means, but I'd dispute the charge with the credit agencies.  At the very least, they should restore your credit score to the previous level until the dispute is resolved (whether in your favor or not).  I don't think they move all that fast, so maybe you can squeeze your credit worthy events in before they've settled the dispute.

I agree to dispute the charge. Now, I am not sure whether this is exactly an apples to apples comparison, since you may have had the procedure done, but I had a speed camera ticket that went into collections. Sent my credit score from ~775 down into the ~670, a 100 point drop. I never received the original ticket in the mail (i.e proof that I was the speeder). I called the collection agency (using *67 before calling so that they couldn't get my phone number to harass me further) and told them I never received the bill and wanted proof of the ticket. They were unwilling to provide anything and just demanded I pay (they are ever so helpful, aren't they). I disputed the ticket with all three credit agencies. They said a review would be done and it would take a month. After a month, it was resolved, removed from my credit report and my credit score was back in the 770s. I believe the burden of proof is on the collections agency. I'm also guessing that since they buy the debt for pennies on the dollar, it's not worth their time to deal with the credit agencies....they might not even have the proof, just the right to the debt collection.

Long story short, you very well could get it expunged, but if you need your credit score high in the real short term, you may just have to eat it.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2015, 07:53:44 AM »
You can also pay it to protect your credit and still contest it.  If you prevail, they (most likely your doctor's office) pays you back.  I have a lot of clients that have car insurance and health insurance but when the two are fighting over who pays the bill, the bill can end up in collections.  If they have the money, I tell them to pay it and we will get it reimbursed so that they don't get a credit ding.  Those can be really hard to undo because technically the bill was paid late.  The issues was, someone else was supposed to pay (in my client's case) but ultimately the client/patient is the one really responsible.  The fine print says you are responsible if your insurance doesn't pay.

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2015, 06:17:22 PM »
Just to give everyone closure, I called the agency back and had them send me a letter stating that the debt would be removed (they would no longer report it), and then I paid it, and then I got a letter that it's resolved.

Next step is to wait a bit and check my credit report again. (I checked 2 of the 3 as part of this hassle, so I'll check the last 1.) Thanks everyone who posted in this thread. And congrats to Frugal Drummer on your kickass life. ;-)

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They probably also put drops in the babies eyes right after birth...
Don't even get me started on the standard procedures for newborns in this country. There are many reasons I went the midwife route instead of the (much cheaper) doctor-only option. Money well spent in my book.

Primm

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Re: Should I pay (erroneous) $235 bill that's in debt collection
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2015, 06:25:51 PM »
I just wanted to chime in with a more medical point about your "unneccessary unrequired tests". The STD tests are actually pretty important.... Many STDs can have serious effects on a fetus -- effects that can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment of the STD. It doesn't matter if a patients reports to be married and/or monogamous. Cheating can and does happen (thus the risk for contracting an STD), unbeknownst to one member of the core couple -- and even if known to both members of the couple, an individual is frequently unlikely to report it to their physician. Further, an individual may have an STD and not know it (many people do not exhibit symptoms). A physician ordering an STD test is not making a moral judgement or implying that they think such "indiscretions" are occurring  -- but, statistically, these things are not uncommon, and a simple test now (for all women) can prevent much more costly and health-threatening issues in the future. There are very few doctors I've ever met who use these tests as a way to get a little extra money out of a patient -- most are genuinely acting in their patients' (both the mother and her child) best interest.

Should you have been informed? Sure, I agree. And I can understand why you might be frustrated that a physician would insist on a test. But should you encounter something similar from a physician in the future, I encourage you not to take it as deceitful or greedy on the part of the physician or as a moral judgement.

Just my two cents. Hope you get the debt collection thing worked out -- it's never fun to deal with.

As a NICU nurse I was going to post almost exactly this, but studentdoc2 has worded it more eloquently.

I know your case is now resolved, but there are quite a few STDs that are asymptomatic but can cause major congenital issues, up to and including the death of the baby, that are routinely tested for nowadays.