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  1. #1
    boshea Guest

    medical bill owed, unable to pay

    What is the name of your state? NY

    My fiance moved from Chicago to NYC to look for work so that we could be together. He is currently unemployed and is seeking work. In September, he applied for Medicaid due to a bicycle accident that put him in hospital for 1 week (5 cracked ribs and a punctured lung). In December he was refused Medicaid due to his pension funds. I am currently supporting him, rent, food, utilities etc, but do not feel that i should be held responsible for paying his medical bills. He has approx 20,000 dollars in pension plan and IRA. Can the hospital force him to cash in his retirement funds, pay penalties, taxes etc, and pay the bill with what's left? or are retirement funds considered exempt? We have been living together for 8 months and even though i support him, is my salary exempt from the debt payment also, as we are not legally bound together in any way? Help much appreciated.
  2. #2
    Ladynred is offline Senior Member
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    Nashville,TN
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    You are not liable for his debts in ANY way, even if you were married !!

    His pension plan is most likely exempt from judgment, the IRA, depending on the type, *could* be vulernable. They cannot FORCE him to liquidate anything unless the sue him and win a judgment. If the IRA is non-exempt, it goes.

    Here's the scoop on IRA's in NY:

    New York
    IRA Protection: YES
    ROTH IRA Protection: YES
    Education IRA Protection: NO
    SEP IRA Protection: UNCLEAR
    Simple IRA Protection: YES
    Citation: Protection is not provided for contributions made within 90 days of entry of money judgment or for fraudulent conveyances.* New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules 5205(c) (1999)
  3. #3
    boshea Guest

    Re: medical bill owed, unable to pay

    [My fiance spoke with one person in Hospital Accounts today, and was told to make an appt to see his boss next week. He said i was a friend and didn't mention that we were engaged as the guy kept asking about MY income. Should he state our exact circumstances when he has the next meeting? The Hospital told us all along that if he were refused medicaid, they would do a fee scale-down based on income, and that he would only have to pay a "nominal" amount. Technically, he has no income right now, and the guy he spoke to today said "how could they do a fee scale down when he had 20 Grand in pension and IRA accounts". Also he kept contradicting himself and clearly was not in a position to make decisions. Are there any legal-type questions we should ask or statements we should make at the next meeting?]Originally posted by boshea
    What is the name of your state? NY

    My fiance moved from Chicago to NYC to look for work so that we could be together. He is currently unemployed and is seeking work. In September, he applied for Medicaid due to a bicycle accident that put him in hospital for 1 week (5 cracked ribs and a punctured lung). In December he was refused Medicaid due to his pension funds. I am currently supporting him, rent, food, utilities etc, but do not feel that i should be held responsible for paying his medical bills. He has approx 20,000 dollars in pension plan and IRA. Can the hospital force him to cash in his retirement funds, pay penalties, taxes etc, and pay the bill with what's left? or are retirement funds considered exempt? We have been living together for 8 months and even though i support him, is my salary exempt from the debt payment also, as we are not legally bound together in any way? Help much appreciated.
    [/QUOTE]
  4. #4
    Ladynred is offline Senior Member
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    Legally, since you're not married, they shouldn't even be asking about YOUR income at all, whether you're currently supporting him or not. The debt is NOT yours and there is NO way they can hold you liable for it.

    I re-reading your post - in that you're dealing with Medicaid, I would suggest that you call someone in a Medicaid office and find out just what could/would happen to his retirement. My mother had some dealings with Medicaid when my Dad was in a nursing home, and it can get tricky when it comes to assets. I think that's where you need to direct your questions at this point. I wouldn't ask the people at the hospital, there should be a county office you can contact.
  5. #5
    boshea Guest

    Re: Re: medical bill owed, unable to pay

    [Thanks for the reply. Medicaid count retirement funds as a "resource". We got a letter back stating that he had $4,000 more than was allowed (they take the total amount and throw it into a formula to count it as income, no idea on actual details there). So now that he has been deemed ineligible for medicaid, they are out of the picture and we have to deal with hospital Accounting directly. I will post again after the next meeting. It is good to know that i am not liable, and that his pension plans may be exempt ]Originally posted by boshea
    [My fiance spoke with one person in Hospital Accounts today, and was told to make an appt to see his boss next week. He said i was a friend and didn't mention that we were engaged as the guy kept asking about MY income. Should he state our exact circumstances when he has the next meeting? The Hospital told us all along that if he were refused medicaid, they would do a fee scale-down based on income, and that he would only have to pay a "nominal" amount. Technically, he has no income right now, and the guy he spoke to today said "how could they do a fee scale down when he had 20 Grand in pension and IRA accounts". Also he kept contradicting himself and clearly was not in a position to make decisions. Are there any legal-type questions we should ask or statements we should make at the next meeting?]Originally posted by boshea
    What is the name of your state? NY

    My fiance moved from Chicago to NYC to look for work so that we could be together. He is currently unemployed and is seeking work. In September, he applied for Medicaid due to a bicycle accident that put him in hospital for 1 week (5 cracked ribs and a punctured lung). In December he was refused Medicaid due to his pension funds. I am currently supporting him, rent, food, utilities etc, but do not feel that i should be held responsible for paying his medical bills. He has approx 20,000 dollars in pension plan and IRA. Can the hospital force him to cash in his retirement funds, pay penalties, taxes etc, and pay the bill with what's left? or are retirement funds considered exempt? We have been living together for 8 months and even though i support him, is my salary exempt from the debt payment also, as we are not legally bound together in any way? Help much appreciated.
    [/QUOTE]
    [/QUOTE]
  6. #6
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    With all due respect to Ladynred.... there are some missing FACTS here that need to be cleared up before ANY accurate answer can be offered. Lets go back through your posts:

    "In December he was refused Medicaid due to his pension funds."
    ** He was denied Medicaid NOT due to his pension funds, but due to his assets being in excess of the minimums to qualify.

    "I am currently supporting him, rent, food, utilities etc, but do not feel that i should be held responsible for paying his medical bills."
    ** Who (if anyone) is saying that YOU are responsible?? When your fiance was admitted to the hospital, were you listed as a 'responsible party' or any other mention in the paperwork??

    "He has approx 20,000 dollars in pension plan and IRA. Can the hospital force him to cash in his retirement funds, pay penalties, taxes etc, and pay the bill with what's left? or are retirement funds considered exempt?"
    ** Yes, and no. They can demand payment. If he refuses, they can get a judgment against him. Can they use that judgment to seize or levy his pension? Probably. NY exempts the following pensions from judgment
    - ERISA-qualified benefits needed for support, includes IRAs
    - IRAs needed for support
    - Keoghs needed for support
    - Public retirement benefits
    - State employees
    - Village police officers

    If his IRA is not needed for support (and is FUTURE retirement), then it is not exempt.

    "We have been living together for 8 months and even though i support him, is my salary exempt from the debt payment also, as we are not legally bound together in any way? Help much appreciated."
    ** As noted above, if you are not shown on the admission paperwork as a responsible party, then you are not liable for the debt.
  7. #7
    boshea Guest
    I signed a statement when applying for Medicaid saying that i was supporting him but NOT responsible for his medical bills. The hospital promised that they would do a fee scaledown based on income if Medicaid did not come through. The "raw" bill totals 20,000 dollars, i doubt if a health insurance company would pay this, or Medicaid for example. Its not that my fiance does not intend to pay, but we would like the fee scaledown and then a monthly payment plan that was doable once he gets a job. We heard of a friend of his family getting a "Negociator" to deal with their hospital bills, which were drastically scaled down as a result. How do we go about hiring this type of person? Any advice there?

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