Author Topic: Medical bill 2 years after service  (Read 1975 times)

frugalnacho

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Medical bill 2 years after service
« on: June 04, 2019, 01:10:03 PM »
My wife was in a car accident and went to the hospital back in September 2017.  We just received a bill in the mail today.  It was a $17 charge, adjusted by $5.51 (in Nov 2017), and states the remainder ($11.49) is for our deductible.  This bill is not large enough to try and dispute or get to the bottom of, but wtf man? 2 years later?  I really wish there was some sort of statute of limitations, or some rule about sending medical bills in a timely fashion.  I mean they've had nearly 2 years to send this bill and they didn't.  I understand a glitch may happen here and there and something may go out a month or two late, or insurance may dick them around sending it back and forth, but after a year they should lose their chance to bill me.

I'm obviously just going to pay it and be done with, but it really irritates me when this shit happens.

rantk81

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Re: Medical bill 2 years after service
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2019, 01:46:17 PM »
Do you still have your EOBs from that year?  From the accident, it is probable that you already hit your deductible, and the insurance should cover part or all of that bill.  (I know it's only a small amount -- but what if this is just the first of many more bills that might roll in?)  I'd first follow-up by calling the hospital to see what's going on, and possibly the insurance company too.

frugalnacho

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Re: Medical bill 2 years after service
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2019, 01:53:25 PM »
That year was an absolute clusterfuck.  We had a baby about a month after the accident.  Some bills came, but didn't go through insurance.  I got my company HR involved, and they got the insurance company involved, and it went back and forth and back and forth and then just kind of went away without any definitive resolution.  I'm scared to press for resolution because I expect them to say "oh wait, yea here is another huge bill that makes no sense".  Hopefully the matter is resolved and forgotten, and in a few more years the statute of limitations will expire on it and it will be definitively resolved.

DaMa

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Re: Medical bill 2 years after service
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2019, 02:14:22 PM »
I believe the statute of limitation is 6 years in Michigan.

3 years after surgery and short inpatient stay, I got a $13 refund from Henry Ford Hospital.  I think it was a mistake, but too small to bother following up.  (I had an HMO at the time.)  That is the only time a mistake was in my favor.

It is very very common for providers to make mistakes when you have a deductible.  Remember most billing is handled by people paid minimum wage with minimal training and no math skills or insurance knowledge. Since I've had a HDHP, I keep a spreadsheet and enter everything.  I have found mistakes EVERY year, usually with DME or mental health providers. 

rantk81

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Re: Medical bill 2 years after service
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2019, 02:18:43 PM »
I keep a spreadsheet of everything too.  Mainly for HSA expense tracking for far-in-the-future reimbursement.

SecondEngineer

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Re: Medical bill 2 years after service
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2019, 02:52:42 PM »
For a few summers in college I had a job that involved following up on old bills for a pediatrician's office. For a large number of the bills, insurance had rejected the claim for some reason (often that reason was the pediatrician's office's fault) and it had sat in the antiquated billing system for months or even years. (In fact, the only reason I was hired to go through these claims was because they were trying to transition to a new system).

My job was usually to send the bill to the patients and ask them to pay. A lot of the time it wasn't even the patient's responsibility to pay. The insurance companies have a time limit to submit a claim or they won't pay it. So many claims were things insurance would have paid if our office had actually been on top of things. My job was to try to collect whatever remains of the bill I could from the patients, even though they shouldn't have paid anything.

But it sounds like yours is legit if it was applied to your deductible. I wonder though if the bill was sent to you by a college student they hired to flush out their accounts receivable :p.

FIREstache

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Re: Medical bill 2 years after service
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2019, 08:49:11 PM »
3 years after surgery and short inpatient stay, I got a $13 refund from Henry Ford Hospital. 

About 20 years ago, I had a hospital stay.  And I kept waiting for the bill for my $250 deductible.  Finally, after months of hearing nothing, I gave the hospital a call.  They checked their records, and said everything had been paid and that I was due a $15 credit.  And they sent me a check.

FindingFI

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Re: Medical bill 2 years after service
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2019, 10:39:52 AM »
Had something similar happen recently. Got an EOB and bill for bloodwork done over 1.5 years earlier to the tune of around $100. My medical records organization has always been a mess, so I doubt I'd be able to go back and verify if I even had blood work done at that time, never mind whether or not I already paid for it. In the end, I sent them the $100 to make the problem go away knowing it would take me hours to get the bottom of it if I really wanted to dig through all the paperwork.