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Is Spouse Responsible for Unpaid Medical Bills


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Hello Everyone,

This is my first post. If someone has posted on this subject previously, I have not found the thread. If there is a thread, someone please reply with the link.

First of all I am in the state of TX. This question is more for my mother than myself. Recently, my father passed away. He was in the Hospital for 25 days before he passed. He was there for a open heart surgery. He did not have any insurance. As you can imagine he accumulated a large amount of medical bills over this time. He didnt have anything in his estate and didnt leave anything behind. The medical bills have started coming in, and my mother cannot afford to pay them (she does not work or have any income).

My question, is my mother responsible for the medical bills?

If someone can address this issue, it would help me out tremendously.

Thank You in Advance,

Nick

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Unfortunately, your mother may be facing bankruptcy, especially if she has a home or other assets that would be in jeopardy from a judgment. For a large hospital bill, you can bet they hospital will sue too.

If your father had no insurance, then some negotiation with the hospital before this might have lowered the balance. They still might do it, but you cannot wait until they are ready to sue her.

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You didn't say how old your parents were or whether they were elderly and possibly would have been covered by medicare. If your father may have qualified; then maybe they would cover some of the bills. Since he's deceased I'm not sure if that would work or not. But try. Also, call now and ask about hardship programs or charities that may help pay. If it's a public hospital most have those types of programs.

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My mother is 57 and my father was 60, and not eligible for Medicare. I was in the process of filing Social Security Disability for my father while he was in the Hospital. I am working with a Social Worker from the Hospital, to rework the paperwork to take care of some of his bills.

Not sure if someone can answer this but if the hospital uses his social security disability to pay for his medical expenses, will this make my mother ineligible to collect survivors benefits?

The bills have just started to come in. They are all in my fathers name. Just to clarify, if these bills are not paid will they come after my mother to make the payments. Is this correct?

Should I try to contact the billing departments, and negotiate payment, or just let them go to collections on my father and see if they try to collect from my mother?

I think I read somewhere on the site that if I make $5 payments, they will not go to collections. Is this true?

There are multiple bills, starting from $500 and up. The bills are coming from all the doctors, anesthesiologist, etc... that consulted on his case. There is a large bill (over $200K) from the hospital also, which I am working on getting some hardship/charity for. They have told me that they will not cover the entire amount maybe 20%, 80% would have to be paid for.

My mother has no major assets, she does not own a home or have any significant savings. If they decide to sue her, there is nothing they can really come after. Would Bankruptcy be the best alternative for her?

She currently resides with my cousin. Can they try to come after him for any reason? or even me for any reason?

Thanks Again, for all your input. It is much appreciated.

Nick

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  • 1 month later...

Ask the social worker that you are working with if they accept Haliburton funds. If so she should be able to obtain the paperwork for you. This is a grant for medical bills and it paid the biggest part of my hospital bill when I had to have emergency surgery for a broken leg. Didn't do anything for the Dr. Bills but kept the hospital bill from being so large.

Moriah4

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Your mom should simply file BK. $200K is insanity, no ordinary working person can ever handle such nonsense.

It's bad enough the effects losing your dad can have on her health, having to worry about this crap is asking too much. For her sake have her file Chapter 7. The negative effects of the BK will wear off rapidly. She'll hve her survivor benefits, and eventually her own SS benefits, and noone can ever touch them.

Sorry for your loss.

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