My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: MO
What law or precedent justifies a debt collection agency billing you an amount of debt, which is greater than the amount you would have 'owed', if you would have filled out the financial assistance paperwork?
For example, I have medical debt from 05'. I only made $10,600 that year (per Social Security Admin.), but as far as I know, I'm expected to pay the full amount (not to mention the interest that has accumulated). The last time I went to the hospital (late last year), my bill was pretty much wiped clean after filling out the right paperwork. Obviously, there is the question of whether or not I would have qualified back in 05', but I'm quite certain I would have. I was single, and head of household. I only made $15k last year (first year of start up business/temp agency wages), and the medical debt was $500 or so. So, it stands to reason I would have received some relief in 05'.
In essence, isn't this basically the same as 'punishing' someone for not filling out the proper paperwork, for being irresponsible? If someone is living at an economic level which qualifies that person for assistance, how is it justifiable to still charge them as if they could afford the full amount to begin with?