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Old 05-11-2008, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Sunny Naples Florida :)
1,461 posts, read 440,279 times
Reputation: 513

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Because of some unfortunate events in 04 I aquired about $ 75,000 in medical bills (thats what insurance wouldn't cover) . This is the only "credit" I have.. Obviously I can't pay that.. My husband and I would like to buy our first home and cars etc but I can never get approved for anything because some have gone to credit collection. And its hard for my husband because I was out of work for 4 years because of my medical issues. I've never even had a credit card offer ever (I'm 25).
Its just impossible to pay for every single bill every month..

Wouldn't having medical bills come up on your credit technically be a HIPAA violation? People should not be knowing my medical issues and I would think bills would be part of that. Its not like I'm out there with a credit card buying all these things and then not paying my bills down. There are jobs that do credit checks and I have been questioned what my medical problem is while being interviewed because they questioned me about my credit.. How is this legal?
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Texas
8,063 posts, read 12,053,600 times
Reputation: 3558
Wow, that's a good point! I never thought of it. I'm disabled and have medical bills, too, which I am paying off slowly. But you're right -- when I was talking with a rep. from my credit card company she asked about my health situation!!! That SHOULD be illegal!!!
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:14 PM
 
14,977 posts, read 28,654,432 times
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Interesting Question and I will run it by my HIPPA coordinator on Monday...

On the face of it, I think it wouldn't apply because medical bills do not necessarily pertain to one's health or Medical History... Often a parent or grandparent is the responsible party for a child or dependant...

I don't deal with HIPPA directly, but my understanding is that HIPPA does have exemptions such as government entities, insurance and medical billing companies...
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:02 PM
 
4,609 posts, read 6,729,834 times
Reputation: 3167
hmmm, money v. ethics . . . . in Amerucka?

Not too hard to guess which way that tree is going to fall.

One Nation Under the Dollah, Baby.

Look, the whole medical industry -- AMA, Insurers, Pharmco, and all the rest have lied, cheated, stolen and killed to get in the position where they are set up to screw over and cheat as much of America as they can. Does this sound like the pack who would close a path to advance their cause on the basis of . . . . ethics?

Generally when you fight the gouging (er, ah "billing") they quickly settle for the basic insurance payment, because they made bank on that already. You are just fighting with the rats and cockroaches over the crumbs from the cake. If they get too obnoxious sue them for bad billing and bad faith collections. They will drop you so quick it will amaze you. And then they will try to gouge someone else.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,355 posts, read 4,089,036 times
Reputation: 840
In a job interview I would think it would be okay to ask about the bills but not to ask about specific medial issues. If you are interviewing with a small company then they might not be up on all the laws. After all, there are thousands of laws and regulations and if HR is not handled by a specialist then they might not be aware of all the laws.

As for creditors, they don't have a right to know specific medical conditions either. But they have a right to assess your ability to pay. Outstanding bills are a part of the equation, even if you would pay them if you could.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Ohio
11,465 posts, read 6,692,946 times
Reputation: 6423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarastomsgirl View Post
Wouldn't having medical bills come up on your credit technically be a HIPAA violation?
No, it's already been litigated.

Besides, when you signed all those forms at the hospital you granted consent and waived your rights to allow 3rd parties access.

Even so, hospitals are quite concerned about the release of information and collection agencies get only that information which they need to know to collect the debt.

My advise, file bankruptcy. There's a point where realism comes into play. If you cannot realistically pay off the debt within 7 to 10 years, then bankruptcy is a real consideration.

An alternative would be to consult WITH AN ATTORNEY FOR A PAID WRITTEN LEGAL OPINION concerning the statute of limitations on the debt.

I bolded that because that is exactly what you say, "Hello, Mr. Attorney, I would like a WRITTEN legal opinion on the statute of limitations for this medical debt and here are all the documents involved."

Why do you want a WRITTEN legal opinion? Um, legal malpractice? Thank you very little.

If it should be that the statute of limitations is less than 10 years, perhaps it's only 4 years, then you're best bet would be to tough it out.

And for god's sake, unless you have the charisma, personality and verbal communication skills to walk out onto the street right this minute and convince 100 people to follow you into Hell armed with only a butter knife, don't talk to the debt collectors.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,557 posts, read 16,413,608 times
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When I bought my home I had a few negatives from medical. The loan officer said that medicals do not really count as much.

Your husband may need to purchase on his own credit.
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:51 PM
 
3,689 posts, read 7,616,229 times
Reputation: 2579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarastomsgirl View Post
Because of some unfortunate events in 04 I aquired about $ 75,000 in medical bills (thats what insurance wouldn't cover) . This is the only "credit" I have.. Obviously I can't pay that.. My husband and I would like to buy our first home and cars etc but I can never get approved for anything because some have gone to credit collection. And its hard for my husband because I was out of work for 4 years because of my medical issues. I've never even had a credit card offer ever (I'm 25).
Its just impossible to pay for every single bill every month..

Wouldn't having medical bills come up on your credit technically be a HIPAA violation? People should not be knowing my medical issues and I would think bills would be part of that. Its not like I'm out there with a credit card buying all these things and then not paying my bills down. There are jobs that do credit checks and I have been questioned what my medical problem is while being interviewed because they questioned me about my credit.. How is this legal?
No, it's not a HIPAA vilation.
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:11 PM
 
4,248 posts, read 6,968,114 times
Reputation: 1395
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferretkona View Post
When I bought my home I had a few negatives from medical. The loan officer said that medicals do not really count as much.

Your husband may need to purchase on his own credit.
This is true (at least at the bank where I worked and we had access to every negative factor in someone's bureau). But there is a difference between a few hundred dollars and large amounts.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:15 AM
 
3,643 posts, read 7,352,732 times
Reputation: 2400
Hospitals can't say why you were in the hospital, but they can say that you were.
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