Dora's Medical Bill Situation
I'm Dora, I'm a 27 year old Preschool Teacher living in the wonderful state of Iowa.
Last year, I turned 26 in January and was dropped off my parent's insurance due to aging out of the amazing protections offered by the Afforadable Care Act to young 20 somethings starting out in life!
I put in paperwork to get on my workplace's insurance and even though I was told everything would be fine, a series of events out of my control ended up with me being unable to get on my workplace's insurance policy until October 2016.
Had everything worked out okay, I would have had health care coverage from the end of February. Unfortunately, things did not work out on the paperwork-end of things and I am a Dora.
I have a lot of chronic health issues but one of my more limiting ones is my eyesight. In February, I tripped down a hill at a rest stop and badly managled my arm. I lost all sensation and function on my left side and was sent to the ER because they were worried I'd done something serious to it.
Several tests later confirmed I'd done some pretty severe nerve damage to my left hand.
At the time, we were told just to update the hospital when my insurance card came...but it never came.
Because it never came, instead of getting the insurane rate, I was billed for the entire visit, tests, etc. The total came to over 20,000 USD. We were able to get some financial aid but they can't knock it down any further than 12,000 USD due to how their policy works.
I currently have it on monthly payments of 250$ a month but the debt is overwhelming. I've never been one to ask for help (for anything) but I don't want to be stuck with this debt over my head as I'm trying to go forward with my life.
Any help is appreciated.
Hi Dora. Sorry you're going through difficulties. Have you discussed with the collection agency settling it for a smaller sum? The hospital sold them your "uncollectible" debt for pennies on the dollar. You can probably offer them as little as a quarter of the debt to go away, and they might just accept it...
In Iowa, you have a year to the day to have insurance go and back date things. For several months, we really did think we'd be able to get the insurance fixed and the treatment paid for. We couldn't pay on it to have a chance of resubmitting it. We were advised to just let it sit. This unfortunately pushed it into collections. At the time, we were told if the insurance fixed itself, then they could re-submit and cancel the claim to collections. Since we can't re-submit, it's now permanently in collections. The hospital can't re-obtain it and collections doesn't have to play by the same rules as the hospital in regards to billing and payments, ergo the payment plan. I can get it reduced only by lowering the over all bill.
You can do way less than $250 a month. Things are much different being in debt with medical bills than any other debt. Talk to a financial counselor.
Per your state laws are they only allowing you to pay a minimum of $250? Per Delaware the minimum is $50 but they are accepting any payment , which for myself, my kid and my husband majority of the medical bills I can only pay $25.