Medical bills from breast cancer

Hi everyone. I’m new to this group. I am a breast cancer survivor. Diagnosis was 2 years ago. I went through chemo, surgery and radiation in 2014. I do have insurance, but I received a bill for $48,000 from my chemo provider. Evidently, the ‘full price’ was $113K, and $48K is what’s left over for me.

My initial reaction was ‘how on earth can some liquids in a few bags be that expensive??????’ I felt like I was being robbed by the same people who saved my life. That was a year ago.

When I spoke to this provider, I was told about a financial assistance program and was led to believe that I would qualify for assistance. I dealt with most of my paperwork issues by putting it in ‘the box’ while recovering. Finally, I tackled ‘the box’ and sorted through the mountain until I found the form. I filled it out, mailed it in. I got a prompt response denying my claim. NOW they tell me the assistance program is for indigent people. I’m struggling, but I’m not indigent. Yet!

In my typical longwinded fashion, here’s my question: If this provider has already sold this debt to a collection agency, do I owe anything to the provider at this point?

I noticed as I was sorting through ‘the mountain’ that I have five accounts from this provider. It appears that all five have been referred to collections. So as I was filling out the assistance form, I’m thinking, hmmm, I am too late in asking to get written off. I sent it off anyway, hoping for the best.

The response I received was not what I expected. It first denied my claim. (grrrr, they could’ve told me sooner that only indigent people need apply) Second, the letter said “Your balances owed are much less than you’ve indicated.” Instead of $57K, I owe $1,948. It doesn’t say one word about a collection agency. It just says I owe $1,948, please send a payment. I think I’ve been given bogus information, and I’m not sure whether I want to investigate this any further or not. So I’m coming here to present my situation and collect whatever feedback this group can provide. Thank you to anyone who wades through this long post.

I would start with your insurance company and see what the bill sent to them was, and how much of that the insurance actually paid. Bills and payments cross in the mail, and don’t get paid in a timely manner when it comes to insurance and hospitals. I would investigate further. If you still think you might owe that high bill (57,000), but other letters say you don’t, it would be worth checking in with a lawyer to see where you sit with the bills.

also, check all acct. numbers and match each of them up, keep each acct. together (It sounded like you have separate accts.) Carefully read each one, making notes to see how much balances were and whether they have gone to collection. Then, call each place, getting written notification of the exact amt. you owe. You might be able to fight a collection agency, if you have in writing from the hospital that your insurance paid the amt. that was sold to collection at one point. DOCUMENT every conversation with Date, Time, who Spoke and what was said.