General Question

SergeantQueen's avatar

How likely is it that a hospital would sue you?

Asked by SergeantQueen (12001points) January 13th, 2021

I owe over $3,000 to a hospital, over $900 to the ER specifically. Over $1000 for an ambulance and over $800—$900 to the county mental health service.

Its over $7—$8,000 total
All from a suicide attempt. I guess if you are going to try to end it, ya wanna do it right or you are financially fucked

I am a dumb forgetful person and fucked up a payment plan

If this goes to collections (all of them probably will) can I be sued? What would happen since I cannot pay?

How fucked is my credit?

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18 Answers

misfit's avatar

Yes, you can go to court for this. Right now 10% of my paycheck is being garnished for ignoring a summons for owing over 20k to a hospital.

Reach out or answer those phone calls and make a deal. You’ll end up paying less monthly if you do.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Yup you’ll get sued !

Don’t screw up a payment plan ! !

See if they will let you pay on a plan.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I can’t afford monthly payments but I can try.

These are all from July.

Also I only get paid $10.80 an hr how would they garnish that?

SergeantQueen's avatar

I think it is already too late but I have been ignoring most of the letters.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Monthly is over $100 just for the one 3,000 bill. I can’t afford it.

SergeantQueen's avatar

It was financial aid that I fucked up******* Sorry not the payment plan*****

I forgot and didn’t do it in time

Tropical_Willie's avatar

They don’t care how much you get paid !

Had a dumb ass friend that had his wages garnished for child support – - – he ended up with $60.00 a week this was many many years age

SergeantQueen's avatar

Okay yay I am going to get sued then

SergeantQueen's avatar

I can’t afford anything else so

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Contact them with a $20.00 dollars a month payment plan BUT don’t skip a payment !

zenvelo's avatar

Talk to the hospital about your inability to pay. There are laws that people cannot be forced to pay for emergency room costs (and the ambulance) if they don’t have insurance and cannot pay.

misfit's avatar

If it’s already in collections it’s too late to work with the hospital. It’s in the hands of the collection agency now.

My bad, I see you aren’t at that point yet. I can tell you from experience that your best option is to call and work something out. Tell them your situation and how much you make monthly. They should be able to help you. They don’t want to deal with collections almost as much as you.

jca2's avatar

A friend used to work for a hospital collections department and she told me as long as you make a little payment every month, your wages won’t be garnished. So make $20 per month, and just chip away at it.

JLoon's avatar

Public hospitals can sue patients for medical debt, but work hard to avoid it.

Even with the amount you say is already in collections you still have at least two options available :

• Apply for Medicaid. Under the Affordable Care Act, if you meet low income requirements federal regulations provide that existing bills can be paid for retroactively. This rule covers charges for at least 90 days prior to the date you file, and in some cases longer.

• Request a hardship forgiveness. Contact the hospital finance department and explain your situation. Public hospitals are required by law to provide a certain percentage of services under what’s often referred to as “charity care”. You’ll need to provide information verifying your income, but in many cases hospitals will reduce their charges by half or forgive what you owe entirely.

Some people answering here are offering advice based on their own experience with other kinds of bills and collections. While its true that bankruptcy can discharge your hospital bills completely, keep in mind that you may not need to take that step if you have a non profit advocate on your side. This is especially true with new state and federal rules passed as part of pandemic relief. With the CARES Act and other legislation most aggressive collection actions for medical debt have been suspended.

Check out some resources & protections here :

Good luck.

gorillapaws's avatar

The worst thing you can do is ignore the debt. It will get bigger, follow you around and might prevent you from being hired for certain jobs (such as criminal justice).

KNOWITALL's avatar

I would call and see if they have charity funds. They don’t advertise it but many hospitals have it available. I had to write a letter since I was paying off my husbands medical and helping my mom thru cancer on one salary.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The hospital won’t sue you, they’ll just send it to a collections agency. If that happens the collections agency will hound you for awhile then sell the debt to another collections agency, and so on (yep, buying/selling debt has become quite the profitable industry). It is extremely unlikely that you will be sued by any of them over such a small amount. That would be more hassle and cost to them the the debt is actually worth. It can, and will, however leave a mark on your credit record. So try to work out something with the hospital, as others have suggested, if at all possible.

crazyguy's avatar

@SergeantQueen Why don’t we pass the donation pail for you? I am sure there are enough generous posters here who can help. I’ll start out by offering $500.

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