This is a little more than just the ER Physician not billing insurance. I ran my credit report in June and realized that a collection agency has a bill on there from 2012, that they just reported in May of 2016. I requested an itemized statement three times and just received (October 2016). I called the ER Physician billing company to be told that they did not bill the insurance and also had sent this bill to an old address as well and I will be held responsible even though I found EOB that the hospital billed and received payment for services that day. Is there anyway the insurance will make payment on a bill four years old I never received in the first place and if I can't find the post office forwarding information this stays on my credit.

Any suggestions?

  • 1
    Some hospitals use contractors and they do bill separately. The hospital billed their charges; that did not include the physician's services. You'll have to contact your insurer about the charges.
    – mkennedy
    Oct 22, 2016 at 13:44
  • I can't guarantee it but try submitting a claim to the insurance. You were covered at the time of the event. Is the physician in-network or out of network? (If in-network the insurer may have more leverage regarding the doctor's office practices)
    – user662852
    Oct 22, 2016 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


That's super unfortunate that you called and talked to them. Most states have statutes of limitation set for debt. Depending upon what state you are in, it may have already lapsed. By calling them and talking to them as if you owe it, you've likely just reaffirmed the debt, which means the time period starts over.

The problem is that doctors aren't required to bill insurance companies, and you're legally liable even if they don't. Honestly, the best thing you can do right now is talk to a licensed attorney and not talk to anybody else about it until you do.

If you decide to go without an attorney, your options are, assuming you really did reaffirm the debt, decide to pay the debt or refuse to pay the debt.

If you decide to pay the debt, you can call and talk to the insurance company about what they can do to help you, but you need to be prepared in case they say no.

If you decide not to pay the debt, you essentially ignore it and hope it goes away (not a good idea). The doctor (or likely the debt collector the doctor has probably sold the debt to by now) can decide to sue you to recover the money if they want. If that happens, you'll be back in the needing an attorney spot.

If you decide not to pay, you can try to dispute the credit report entry, although it will likely be unsuccessful. To do that, type a letter to the credit bureau identifying yourself and that you are disputing the information on your credit report. Send it to each credit bureau that has the account on record. You should always use certified mail with return receipt when writing to the credit bureaus. Never use their websites to dispute anything as you have to agree to their arbitration agreement in the process which limits your legal rights.

Again, this is one situation where you really should talk to an attorney. Medical bills can be particularly high, and everything you do, acting and not acting, can affect your legal rights down the road.

I'm not an attorney. This is not legal advice. You should consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your particular jurisdiction.

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