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Received collection agency letter for medical bill we never received


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I was wondering if anyone had ever run into a situation like this, and how they handled it if so.

A year and a half ago, my husband had an operation with all the multiple associated medical bills that followed (surgeon, hospital, labs, MRI, anesthesiologist, etc.) Thanks to a pretty good insurance plan, a health care reimbursement account, and personal savings, we were lucky enough to pay all these bills for deductibles and coinsurance in full as they came in.


Now suddenly last week, he got a collections letter for a bill I don't recognize. It's a small bill, only $150. I went through my files and neither the name of the provider, the account number, nor the balance due match anything in my records. I googled the somewhat generic sounding name of the medical provider, but I didn't get any business matches in the area where he went to the hospital, so I'm really at a loss as to who and what this bill is for.


I've already sent the collection agency a dispute letter, but I'm feeling very unsettled and upset while I'm waiting for their response.


If this is a valid bill that he incurred that for some reason got lost in the mail, we obviously would like to pay it. But I'm very concerned about a collections hit on his credit report. So far nothing has shown up, but it's still new.


Has anyone else been in a situation like this? I just feel it's unfair for his credit report to take a hit for something that was never sent to him.


Thanks for taking the time to read this. Any advise deeply appreciated!

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33 minutes ago, Mere said:

I just feel it's unfair for his credit report to take a hit for something that was never sent to him.

Don't panic just yet.  You said it isn't reporting so you have time to deal with this.  You have sent the dispute letter to preserve collection rights, this is one time I would go ahead and call the collection agency.  You simply need to tell them that after checking your records you don't have any record of receiving this care.  You would like to know what the date(s) of service are and the care provided.  If this information does not ring any bells then you can ask them if it is possible he is being billed in error for a patient with a similar name.  If the bill is his you have the time to pay it before they report and get an insurance claim submitted to get reimbursed for the care as well if this was not done for the service.

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Thank you very much! I'll give them a call today before work.

Update -

Just wanted to post an update for this situation. It seems like this was a much less fearful situation than I had originally feared.

The debt collector actually mailed back to me the same day they received my letter, and they had a lot of information that did verify the debt. As I suspected, it was our coinsurance responsibility for bloodwork taken during my husband's hospitalization. This was sent from a different medical center than the ones we had previously received the deluge of surgery related bills from before.

I was able to pull the EOBs from that time and go through them (seriously it's a stack about three inches thick) and in there I found this provider, and the dates of service and total amount do line up.

When I called the collection agency it was pretty painless. I said we wanted to pay, and asked how we go about it. She said we could either do credit card payment over the phone, or I could send a check or money order. I made made copies of everything and sent a USPS money order certified mail. She also said that it wasn't due to be reported to his credit report unless it had not been paid within 30 days, so we're all clear there.

Thanks again!

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