Author Topic: Working out a payment plan with doctor's bills  (Read 1275 times)

Bettis

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Working out a payment plan with doctor's bills
« on: June 22, 2015, 10:22:36 AM »
A little over 9 months ago, our son was born :)  Two months later, we got a $2400 bill from the hospital which we were able to pay with HSA funds.  Well now that it's 9 months later, the doctor's office sent a bill for $2400(off by about 60 cents from the other bill).  Naturally, I figured it might be a duplicate because I had never received an EOB from my insurance for it but after lots of back and forth with the doctor's billing company and my insurance, we've determined it is legit.  Unfortunately we were not totally prepared for it.

I have never had to work out a payment plan so I was hoping to get a little insight before I call to do it.  Now I do technically have the entire $2400 that I can pay it off but I was hoping to leverage my HSA which only has about $1,100.  If I can stall enough (pay less per month than goes into the HSA), I can still pay the bill off within a year with buffer allowed for other small bills that naturally occur.  I figure if they take 9 months to charge me, they aren't hurting for my money.  Are there interest charges or any other fees that would make this be a bad idea?  I realize I could just ask them these questions but I want to make sure I'm at as little disadvantage as possible when working with them.

forummm

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Re: Working out a payment plan with doctor's bills
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 10:56:38 AM »
You can pay now and then reimburse yourself from the HSA later. Just take reimbursement from the HSA the same year you pay the bill.

Numbers Man

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Re: Working out a payment plan with doctor's bills
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2015, 11:19:06 AM »
Just offer a payment plan that you are comfortable with paying. Something like $600 today and $150 for the next 12 months.

Bettis

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Re: Working out a payment plan with doctor's bills
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2015, 11:26:43 AM »
I didn't even think of reimbursing myself later but I want to make it as simple as possible in case I ever get audited or something.  That's why I've always used the HSA card to pay for the bills.

The $600 up front - $150 for 12 months makes sense and would work out well for me.  How do I prove that the payment plan is going towards this particular bill?  My fear is that years from now, collections will be after me for $2400 when I paid it in a slightly different format.  Do I get written proof of the agreement?  Does my current bill get voided and a monthly bill get sent per the agreement or do I just have to keep everything together and hope it never comes up again?

kendallf

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Re: Working out a payment plan with doctor's bills
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2015, 11:41:43 AM »
Just send them a payment with a note of your plan, and keep records of your payments and the total.  In almost all cases, medical billing departments will accept whatever you send them, and keep billing you for the remaining balance. 

I am doing that for my mother right now (my step-father passed away a few months ago).  I wrote letters to the larger creditors (hospitals) asking them to write the debt off (as he died with no assets).  Any remaining bills that come in such as the nursing home/rehab center I just pay a small amount to monthly.  They are quite accomodating any time I've had to contact them.