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Angry Rant: Will an unpaid medical bill hurt my credit?

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by McClintoc, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. McClintoc

    McClintoc Super Moderator Staff Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    *** This post if rated R - there is swearing in it ***


    Back in April I had to go to the ER for the first time in my life. Turns out I had a staph infection in my leg. It was very minor and all the doc did was look at my leg, say it was staph and then wrote me a scrip for some antibiotics. The only reason I went to the ER was because it was the only thing open at the time I realized I needed to get the thing checked out - it was a late Sunday night.

    I have medical insurance so the only thing I paid out of pocket was my ER copay. OK, no big deal. The total bill ended up being about $1500!! My insurance covered half so I am responsible for the remaining half. I get the bill in the mail and it says I can pay it online and provides the website.
    I go to the website and try to log in: it wants my patient/account number, my DOB and the last four of my SSN. Every time I try to log in it says there is no record of my info found. On their end, either my DOB and/or SSN is incorrect. I have tried logging in several times and it's the same thing each time - no account found. So, again repeatedly, I have called the phone number they provide to pay over the phone. It's automated and the answering systems wants the same info the website does. Again, I enter my info and it says there is no account matching that info. So I transfer over to an actual person to get this figured out.

    Here's where I'm getting pissed: once I transfer over to get a real person, I get three different rings followed by three different automated messages. The first message says I'm being transfered to a representative. The next one says the call my be recorded, blah blah blah and the last repeats and thanks for me holding and someone will take my call shortly blah blah blah. OK, fine, I'll chill on hold. Well, either one of two things happens: I sit on hold (I've waited almost half hour once) or, it rings and sounds like someone answers but it's just dead silence - no automoated messages, no ****ty music - and I've waited on that dead silence for about ten minutes each time it happens and nothing more happens. Point being, apparently there is no way I can get in touch with these people.

    Now, after three months of repeatedly trying to pay my bill via the only two methods they provide, I can't get through to them either way. So I say **** it - I'm done with these *******s. If they don't care and/or are not competent enough to have systems that work, then I'm not going to care anymore either. I'm trying but they sure don't seem to be.

    My question is: what happens to medical bills that don't get paid? Will this eventually show up as a huge negative on my credit? What are my options if these jerk-offs don't seem to really want my money?


    CLIFFS:
    Went to the ER earlier this year
    I have medical insurance which only paid half the bill
    I can't pay the remainder (physically, not financially) but not for lack of trying
    I now say "**** it" I'm not paying - they don't care, then I don't care either
    Will this unpaid bill hurt my credit?
  2. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 1000 Posts

    medical bills are crazy, you can settle for far less money than they are charging and most credit agencies don't consider medical debt on the same level as other types of debt.
  3. Curky

    Curky New Member 1000 Posts

    It will affect your credit. Not as bad as missing a credit card payment but it will. It will start really hitting your credit when they send it to a collection agency. Regardless medical or credit card a credit agency is a credit agency. I am telling you out of experiences not here say. Some ppl will tell you no medical don't hurt you, Yes but no- it will lower your score but some places will over look it but not your score. Medical bills took my score from 820 to 610 within a year. never missed a car or house payment in 13 years, maybe lat on a card payment 3 times in that time.

    SO, YES it will.
  4. stchman

    stchman New Member 1000 Posts

    This the whole thing about credit ratings that piss me off. Credit rating is VERY important in today's society, but then it is some mystical thing that only the privileged few can even see.

    If they have your SSN, there is the possibility that an unpaid bill can get reported to one of the 3 credit agencies (Trans Union, Equifax, Experian).

    Now OTOH, if you have tried to pay this bill and no one seems to GAF, then oh well.
  5. McClintoc

    McClintoc Super Moderator Staff Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    As far as I can tell, this is the case. And about them having my SSN, that I don't know for sure. Like I said, their web page and their automated phone system want my patient number, my DOB and my SSN. The patient number came from them so I assume it's correct. That leaves my DOB and SSN. When I enter that info, the web site and phone system say it's incorrect buy they do not tell which one is incorrect - it could be either one or both but I have no way of knowing.
  6. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Member

    X10! Get a hold of the hospital and talk to patient records dept. or whatever they decide to call it and find out where the F*** up is so you can hit that bird with one stone. otherwise this WILL cause you more grief in the future be it financially or otherwise.
  7. McClintoc

    McClintoc Super Moderator Staff Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    All is well now. I went last night directly to the ER I originally visited and was able to pay the bill in-person. Turns out, they had my SSN incorrect.

    Thanks for all the input guys!

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