I had a 2-hour ER visit for a biking accident at an out-of-network location in 2014, and provided the insurance information at check-in. Four months later the hospital and the doctors (charging separately) were able to send me the bill as well as file claims with my insurer, and were fully paid.
I did not know at the time that the radiologist would charge me separately, and do not remember having received anything from them (otherwise I would have forwarded the bill to my insurer, along with those from the hospital and the doctors). The balance has since been put to collections, which came to my attention when I checked my credit report for the first time this month. I have not received anything from the collection bureau either.
My insurer's record shows that 6 months after the visit, they sent my insurance info to the radiologist, and prompted them to file a claim. The insurer did not record what they received from the radiologist in the first place, or how the radiologist came to their attention; an agent told me that they could well have received a bill (not a claim) from the radiologist, but there is no record.
The insurer refuses to pay the balance due to time limit of filing. The radiologist has my medical record but claims that the balance has been transferred to the collections bureau. The collections bureau claims that the radiologist must have sent me something, and I failed to provide in return my insurance info.
I'm looking for ways to resolve this relatively quickly, but also in a way that protects my credit score (~700 Equifax, which records the collection, and ~750 TransUnion, which does not). If this balance in indeed disputable, how should I handle this (files to ask, sequence of negotiation etc.)? The amount at less than $200, is also manageable. Should I, and if yes, how should I pay it?
The insurer and I are in Connecticut; the radiologist and collections bureau are in New York.