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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Can You Sue For the Time You Spend Getting Insurance to Pay Your Bill

    My question involves small claims court in the state of: New York

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York

    Hey all - I have a pediatrician that my son goes to.

    My son was born Mid September 2011. The way the insurance policy we had works (it was a Pennsylvania policy from her company which was headquartered there) is that the bills for Sept. were to be charged to my wife until Oct. 1st when my sons name would be on the policy.

    The office did not do that - and they first contacted me on Oct 14th (1 month later) with a $450 unpaid balance.

    They made ME call my insurance company - who then told me how the bill needed to be submitted to the insurance company.

    I then call them back relaying the info (ps - THEY would not call my insurance carrier - even though I gave them the number).

    They said they couldn't do it - I said: I dont know how to help you anymore with this.

    This back and forth goes on for literally months - hours and hours of my time spent.

    Finally I talk with the lady - and she says: We can try sending the bill in the MAIL as opposed to electronically. THIS IS SIX MONTHS LATER!

    Sure enough - the insurance company pays part of the bill as they would have back in September if this had been done.

    I called the office manager there when I got the bill - and said: I have spent over 10 hours doing work that wasn't needed - on something that OBVIOUSLY would have been paid if it was done right the first time by their office.

    The total I owe is $222 roughly. I called the office manager - explained the situation - and told her that I think the bill is a 'wash' since I would charge at least $240 + tax for the work that I have put in.

    She said - That is time the doctors have already spent on you and there is nothing we can do about that.

    Well - MY time has already been spent! On something that was NOT needed!

    My only concern is this: I don't want to simply not pay this and then have it go to collections.......

    What are my options?

    If I tell them that I simply wont pay - they will just send it to collections.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,675

    Default Re: Won't Pay Bill - Can I Sue for My Time - and to Not Go to Collections

    the bills for Sept. were to be charged to my wife until Oct. 1st when my sons name would be on the policy.

    Are you quite sure of that? I've been working with employer-sponsored group plans for over 30 years, including some in PA, and I've never heard of a plan that would do that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Won't Pay Bill - Can I Sue for My Time - and to Not Go to Collections

    I am actually not sure of the exact policy.

    I am only sure of what the representative told me on the phone... a phone call that I didn't want to be making in the first place.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,653

    Default Re: Won't Pay Bill - Can I Sue for My Time - and to Not Go to Collections

    Unfortunately, you can't successfully charge your doctor for the time you spend trying to get your insurance company to pay a medical bill.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,675

    Default Re: Won't Pay Bill - Can I Sue for My Time - and to Not Go to Collections

    You do understand, I trust, that your doctor's office is not obligated to manage your insurance issues for you and that they do so only as a courtesy? That ultimately it is your responsibilty ANYWAY?

    No, of course you don't. If you did, you wouldn't be asking the question.

    No, you can't sue the doctor the time it took you to convince him to do something that it was your responsibility to do in the first place.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Won't Pay Bill - Can I Sue for My Time - and to Not Go to Collections

    It's your responsibility to see that your bills are paid no matter how much time it takes. Agree with the others - no, you cannot sue your dr. for your time spent on your ins. issues. (They were your issues & not the doctors.)
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    14,798

    Default Re: Can You Sue For the Time You Spend Getting Insurance to Pay Your Bill

    If its any consolation OP, I just spent several hours, 14 phone calls and 2 faxes over 5.5 months getting one bill paid. The coordination required 3 companies, excluding any doctor related, which comprise 2 more, to all get on the same page, so that they showed coverage and processed the bill.
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