How I almost paid thousands of medical bills in NJ that I didn’t owe

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I want to share this story with you because I feel like something like this happens too often to so many of us. And a lot of times we just pay what the statement says and call it a day.

Fortunately, my determination didn’t allow me to just accept what the hospitals said I had to, and I stuck with them for almost a good year trying to sort it out.

So full disclosure, I have an autoimmune disease that requires medical treatment. Without this treatment, I may not be able to write this article which I am sharing with you now. While there were a lot of other aspects to this story, I’ll keep it simple and straightforward.

In the fall of 2019, I underwent a change in my treatment. This change required a one-day stay at one of our New Jersey hospitals. The good news, however, is that I would only need this treatment twice a year.

My first treatment was in October 2019, and the next visit was in June 2020. These two dates are important for what will eventually happen later.

In the fall of 2020, I got a notice saying that I owed nearly $ 10,000 in medical bills related to the June 2020 date. It seemed extreme to me since my deductible is nowhere near as high, so I did. follow up with my insurance company to see what was going on.

Basically what the hospital was telling me was not what my insurance or program coverage was telling me. Eventually we found out that the hospital never sent the requests correctly and was charging me the difference.

Judge (AndreyPopov, Thinkstock)

So I challenged him, and the hospital indicted him. Finally, I learn that the date of June 2020 was now fixed. So we’re all fine now, aren’t we? Not really.

About two weeks later, I received a collection notice in the mail claiming that I owed the hospital nearly $ 8,000. Intrigued, I contacted them again.

The invoice was put back for review, and after a while she came out of the review saying I owed around $ 5,000. So very clearly something was wrong with the process they are using. Yet $ 5,000 is definitely better than $ 10,000.

So, this is where it gets even more complicated. I eventually found out that the amount I owed went back to my October 2019 treatment. It didn’t make sense as I knew full well that those dates were right, it was the June 2020 date that was initially the problem.

Fast forward to September 2021, and it turned out that the hospital somehow “moved” the money from the 2019 service date to settle what was due for the 2020 service date.

Additionally, I also found out that when the hospital finally sent the claim for the 2020 service date to the insurance company, they never accepted the amount the insurance company provided to cover the services. . As a result, instead of using the insurance to close the balance on the date of 2020, they just changed the numbers and moved it from October 2019 to June 2020.

Confusing, right? I know I was confused too.

Once this mess was finally sorted out, I only owed about $ 1,000, which was my deductible and the actual amount that was my responsibility.

The moral of the story is therefore as follows. Don’t be fooled by that initial hospital bill because you never know how much you might be overcharged. As I learned from this experience, a simple administrative error could have cost me over $ 10,000 and a blow to my credit.

So be careful and persist with any hospital bills you get that seem overpriced. They will do what they can to collect from you if you don’t question anything.

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