Lived in Missouri and received ER care. Provided health insurance info to hospital, ambulance - whoever asked. Claims were processed and I paid co-pays ($50)and thought everything was square. A year later, received collection letter (never received a bill) which was from ER doctor. Provided insurance info to collection agency and was told not to worry about it, they would file claim.
Moved 3 times in 3 years and now live in North Carolina. Mail catching up with me and alleged debt has apparently transferred between several collection agencies in Florida.
They claim I need to pay full debt plus interest and threaten to ruin credit rating.
Health insurance company maintains contract with physician stipulates physician is not to contact patient to recover debt if they fail to file a claim on a timely basis (1 year). Collection agency says it doesn't matter. They have only partially responded to 3 letters requesting proof of debt, filing of claim and reason insurance did not pay.
I paid for health insurance, provided insurance info on request and am willing to cover any co-pay. I do not believe I am responsible for full debt because physician did not file claim in time. That is the purpose of paying for health care coverage right?
I'm working 2 temp jobs, studying, etc. to stay afloat but have always had excellent credit and never missed a bill payment. Time to make calls and write letters to collection agency is a premium right now but will do what it takes to get on with my life (except pay for what I do not feel I owe).
Please advise what my rights are, whether I am liable for the debt plus interest and how I can efficiently resolve the matter.