Medical law question!?

  • by Rebecca F.
  • May 24,2018
  • 12 answers

I am a 20 year old full time medical college student. I started my clinicals this semester as well as online class. With that being said, I have no time outside of school to have a job and my parents never pushed for me to get one as long as I was in school they said they would provide. My parents divorced when I was 17 and it was agreed upon that my dad would carry out medical insurance as long as we were enrolled in school and under 26 years of age. Last fall I ended up severely breaking my foot and got medical attention. The bills came in the mail and my father threw them at me and said he wasn’t going to pay them. By that time they had fallen into collections and onto my credit history. I have received several phone calls from collections and the agents were extremely rude, asking why I received medical attention if I could not pay. My question is, who is responsible for paying the bills, my father (who carries our medical insurance) or me?


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Insurance Answers (12)

Casey Y 2 months ago

As an adult, you are now responsible. You can sue your father if you have a copy of the divorce decree where this is clearly stated...
That wording is a big deal...often, the requirement lapses upon completion of undergraduate studies...

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STEVEN F 2 months ago

TROLL FAIL.
There is NO WAY you got into medical school at 20 without KNOWING the answer to this BS question.
It is unlikely you could even get into an UNDERGRADUATE pre-med program without knowing.

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car253 2 months ago

You might want to repost your question under the "credit" category. If the bills are in your dad's name, then he has to pay for them. He can not transfer them to you. If the bills are in your name, you are responsible. Please repost your question under the credit category. And, if you call the hospital they may work out a payment plan for you.

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Rick 2 months ago

You are responsible
Father can but is not obligated to insure you until age 26

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Insurance Pickle.com 2 months ago

That's tricky. As far as the collectors and your credit is concerned, you're responsible for the bills. NEVER by purely providing insurance for someone is it an automatic that the person paying for the insurance covers the rest of the bills.
The tricky part is the divorce agreement. The divorce agreement isn't likely a contract with you. You'd have to explore the agreement. Otherwise, providing you insurance doesn't obligate the person providing to the bills.

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lucy 2 months ago

The problem you have is that YOU owe for the medical bills. Whenever you go to a doctor/ER or any provider, they have you sign a form that states “If, insurance does not cover this, then (I) will be held (personally) responsible for the bills”.
Now it is possible that your parents decree does state that your dad pays for your medical insurance and medical bills, but in many cases today, in many states (legally) their obligation may end at 18, or 1 parent pays for the insurance, but could have in it that the (both) parents agrees to pay 50% of any medical bills equally. If I had to guess you have not seen the divorce decree and have relied on your mother to tell you what was decided in court.
Regardless, this won’t help you, since your dad was not with you at the hospital and your dad did (not) sign the form to be held liable for the bills, thus the reason for you being on the hook for these bills, plus now in collection. If I had to guess over the years that any medical treatment you have had has probably been under $500, but after this ER bill and the bills start coming and if your dad has a high deductible, could have been thousands so he got upset and ignored them.
What is worst is that you let these bills slide and ignored them, thus if you had contacted the hospital on a payment plan or if you could get any of the bills reduced, might have worked, but just let it slide, since good old dad will pay them.
Sorry, but going to school and not working is not an excuse. My (late) husband worked full time during the day, plus went to law school full time at night to get his license in 3 years. So yes, you will need to find a job, even if it is part time to pay back these medical bills.
The next step if you fail to pay this, then they will sue you for it and win. Unknown where you live, but in some states with a judgment on your record they can pull your license, (or) prevent you from getting licensed after graduation, until you resolve this, so something else to consider.
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/...
• Does the debtor have a professional license? in some states, you can file a judgment with the state licensing board. For instance, in California, a contractor must handle the debt by paying the award or filing for bankruptcy to prevent losing the license.

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vivienne 2 months ago

Your father of course if he has your insurance under his name

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A Hunch 2 months ago

The divorce papers do not talk about your medical insurance and medical bills.
A child support decree would cover this.
If the child support decree says dad will pay for medical insurance and any medical bills not paid for by insurance = dad needs to pay. If he doesn't you can take him to small claims court to get a judgement against him for the money.
If the child support decree says dad will pay for medical insurance, it means dad will pay for medical insurance. Any medical bills not paid for by insurance, would be your responsibility.

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Steve D 2 months ago

Technically you are. You are now an adult and responsible for your own care and bills. Per the agreement, your father is responsible for carrying the medical insurance coverage which is not the same as paying for your medical care. Obviously waiting until the bills fell into collections was not the optimal solution to the problem (had you known you had bills, you could have possibly contacted the service providers to get discounts, payment plans or even applied for government help with the help of the hospital).

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Judy 2 months ago

Are you in the US? Seems strange to be up to med school clinicals at age 20. But that really has nothing to do with the issue. If the med insurance is still active, why didn't the insurance pay them? Legally you're responsible if they don't, and responsible for any copays.

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StephenWeinstein 2 months ago

You are.

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mbrcatz 2 months ago

You are. You are over 18, and you bought the medical services. Now you have to either file the claim yourself, or pay for them.

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