Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

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Seasonal
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by Seasonal »

celia wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:01 pm
mptfan wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:37 am
Mako wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:13 am For my insurance if the provider waits over a year to submit a bill to insurance they are out of luck. Insurance won't pay and I don't have to pay either (assuming in network).
I don't think the second part of that sentence is accurate, your obligation to pay the medical provider is independent of your insurance's obligation to pay.
You are only obligated to pay the amount that insuarance wouldn’t cover and insurance needs to be billed within 9 (or12???) months. Your response should now be that it wasn’t submitted to insurance in a timely manner. Since they are no longer liable, neither are you.

Either that, or it WAS submitted earlier and was already paid!
I'm helping some elderly relatives with their care and finances. I'm somewhat surprised by the number of incorrect bills they get. In most cases the bill has already been paid either by the relative or Medicare/Medigap. Occasionally it's for things that Medicare doesn't cover and they weren't warned, let alone signed a Medicare ABN. There's also the rare billing for procedures that didn't happen - discussions with billing are easier if, for example, it's a hospital bill listing a date of service after discharge. Most annoying are bills for things that a hospital was explicitly instructed not to do.
Topic Author
shorty313
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 8:43 am

Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by shorty313 »

Seasonal wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:20 pm
celia wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:01 pm
mptfan wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:37 am
Mako wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:13 am For my insurance if the provider waits over a year to submit a bill to insurance they are out of luck. Insurance won't pay and I don't have to pay either (assuming in network).
I don't think the second part of that sentence is accurate, your obligation to pay the medical provider is independent of your insurance's obligation to pay.
You are only obligated to pay the amount that insuarance wouldn’t cover and insurance needs to be billed within 9 (or12???) months. Your response should now be that it wasn’t submitted to insurance in a timely manner. Since they are no longer liable, neither are you.

Either that, or it WAS submitted earlier and was already paid!
I'm helping some elderly relatives with their care and finances. I'm somewhat surprised by the number of incorrect bills they get. In most cases the bill has already been paid either by the relative or Medicare/Medigap. Occasionally it's for things that Medicare doesn't cover and they weren't warned, let alone signed a Medicare ABN. There's also the rare billing for procedures that didn't happen - discussions with billing are easier if, for example, it's a hospital bill listing a date of service after discharge. Most annoying are bills for things that a hospital was explicitly instructed not to do.
We have encountered that as well. For whatever reason the bill pay address for this particular hospital takes MONTHS from when they cash the check until they actually credit the account. FIL went to emergency room twice this spring and he got at least four monthly bills for each, when I paid them first month. So I check it all very carefully!
Topic Author
shorty313
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by shorty313 »

Cruise wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:35 pm Speak of the devil: Got a bill today from ophthalmologist for services rendered on 10/26/15! They spent 50 cents to recover $1.54.
Wow.
BionicBillWalsh
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by BionicBillWalsh »

Helo80 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:37 pm
Cruise wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:35 pm Speak of the devil: Got a bill today from ophthalmologist for services rendered on 10/26/15! They spent 50 cents to recover $1.54.

That's actually low enough that may be worth your time to troll them and have them re-verify the bill once or twice to generate more postage fees.
I love this way more than I should.
Jerry Garcia: If I knew the way...I would take you home.
Helo80
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by Helo80 »

BionicBillWalsh wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:28 pm
Helo80 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:37 pm
Cruise wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:35 pm Speak of the devil: Got a bill today from ophthalmologist for services rendered on 10/26/15! They spent 50 cents to recover $1.54.

That's actually low enough that may be worth your time to troll them and have them re-verify the bill once or twice to generate more postage fees.
I love this way more than I should.

True story... my work travel card... some how the reimbursement got messed up and they shorted the bill to Citi by 1 cent.

I shot them an email if they had petty cash that could cover that 1 cent, as I had provided all the receipts and what not (about 120 days of hotel/rental/etc.) so it wasn't worth anybody's time to go back and track down where the penny short was.

They told me, "No", and that Citi would want their cent. I laughed and said, "No, citi doesn't want their cent".

Called Citi....

30 seconds later, Citi wrote off the penny.

Citi also sent me another bill verifying that my account balance was zero.
Dead Man Walking
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by Dead Man Walking »

I received a bill from a hospital over a year after my mother died. Her estate had gone through probate, and the probate court had sent a letter stating that probate process had been finalized. I called the billing department of the hospital and informed them that my mother had died and her will and estate had gone through probate. They asked me to please send a copy of her death certificate and the final letter from the probate court. These copies were not official copies, but copies of the official copies. I told them that I was amused by their inefficiency since my mother had been pronounced dead at the same hospital. I mailed the copies for which they had asked and never heard from them again. I was the executor of her estate and used a lawyer because it was easier than doing everything myself.

DMW
quantAndHold
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by quantAndHold »

I handled all of dad’s money the last 3 years of his life, and was executor of his estate. In those 3 years, he had a lot of medical bills. It was enough that I had to keep a spreadsheet to keep it reconciled. Most of the time I would find out about a bill from the insurance EOB, then I’d get the bill from the provider sometime later.

His insurance company (BCBS) was totally on the ball, they were fast and never made a mistake. Not once.

The providers, though. OMG. The most impressively bad was the ambulance company. With ambulance rides, the ambulance company would send me a bill for the full amount. I’d then call them and give the insurance info. Soon after, the insurance would send me a check for the ambulance ride, I’d cash it, and sometime later I’d get a new bill from the ambulance company, which I would pay.

About a year before he died, he took an ambulance ride. I never got a bill from the ambulance company, just an EOB and a check from the insurance. I cashed the check, and entered it in the spreadsheet. Later on, more ambulance rides. More checks from insurance. But no bill from the ambulance company.

Finally, he dies. Probate. I send a legal notice to the ambulance company. I send a second notice to the ambulance company, because I *know* he owes them money. As the deadline is approaching for them to submit their bills to probate, I even call them, tell them that I think dad owes them several thousand dollars, and they need to send a bill or it won’t get paid. They thank me. Crickets. The deadline passes. I distribute the estate, and finish the probate.

To this day (six years later) I’ve never heard from that ambulance company.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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celia
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by celia »

Seasonal wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:20 pm There's also the rare billing for procedures that didn't happen - discussions with billing are easier if, for example, it's a hospital bill listing a date of service after discharge.
I learned that sometimes these are legit. I once was in the hospital for surgery on a broken leg. The in-house doc (employed by the hospital) checked on me each day. A few days after surgery, I was sent home with crutches. A few weeks after that, I got an EOB from insurance for services by that doc on a day I wasn’t in the hospital. I called my insurance to report it and they looked up the service associated with the billing code. It turned out to be time for ‘authorizing delivery of a wheelchair (patient not present)’. Insurance asked if one was delivered. I replied ‘Yes’, so insurance said it was a legitimate billing.
katrid11
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by katrid11 »

I dealt with some of this after my dad's death and grandfather's death.

First off, obtain the EOB. Most likely it will say "patient has no responsibility to pay" on it b/c it sounds like the provider did not submit the claim in time. Each insurance firm (Medicare included) has a expiration on claims. While the State of NJ has a 6 year statute, the insurance company has it's own rules. Failure to meet the insurance company requirements will void a bill. FWIW a hospital in NJ sent a bill for my grandfather 18 mths after his death for services rendered in the ER (yet he was pronounced dead in the house). The bill was denied by Medicare and his supplemental as out of date claim. We got the EOB and sent it back with the full bill. BTW they wanted $2800 for caring for a deceased body. The estate did not pay a penny.

Secondly pay nothing until you have the EOB. Then if it claims no responsibility - send a copy of the EOB back with the bill saying the patient has no responsibility.

IF you cannot get an EOB, send back the bill with the "deceased" nomenclature on it. IF they are savvy and want to try and get their money, they will need to rebill in the name of the spouse or an inheritor. At that point, the EOB becomes more important to avoid payment of an improper bill.

OR you can just pay it. BUT I caution, if you pay, it may generate other bills in the system that have been declared void due to death. You do not want that to happen. We were warned about that in Virginia with bills from my dad's death. 1 small bill (like $50) came about a year after his death but hadnt gone through insurance. My mom's lawyer adamantly told my mom to follow the above EOB/document advice even for $50 b/c paying it would give cause for future bills. Low and behold we did not pay but a $12000 bill showed up 2 months later (same hospital). They had not billed insurance for that one either. We forced them to bill insurance which was then denied b/c the claim period was over and the bill was voided. I swear these providers sniff out the deceased spouse/relatives and start sending bills hoping for someone to pay what they normally can't bill for.
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shorty313
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by shorty313 »

Would we even get an EOB if the bill said "Not Eligible"? Hard to tell if that means the claim is not eligible, or if she was not eligible as a member at time of claim.
katrid11
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by katrid11 »

The EOB should be generated b/c the insurance company doesn't look at the date of the bill only but the date of service.
The insurance company must pay out on a valid claim for someone that was insured at the date of service.

The insurance company can call it "not eligible" if the claim is after the eligible time to submit. It has nothing to do with the insured not being covered in 2020 but the fact the bill was sent in too late to be paid.
TheDDC
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by TheDDC »

shorty313 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:23 am MIL passed in July of 2018. We have been managing finances for FIL since then and he brought us a bill in her name from her hospital discharge day, when she went to hospice.

It’s not an enormous amount, but FIL is on a fixed income. Is he responsible for her medical debt? Especially so long after her death? He was the beneficiary of her estate. There is one random bank account that after repeated requests to the bank has STILL not removed her name from the account, so is that an issue?

No Medicaid, and we are located in NJ. I can’t seem to find info on statue of limitations, if any. I also can’t verify the accuracy of the charge since it was so long ago. Do I call and tell them she passed and see what they say? Pay it? Just ignore it? Thanks for any insight!
Was she enrolled in traditional Medicare? If so, there is an appeals process. Was the claim submitted to Medicare? Make sure it is. If it was and they still keep sending it then I would tie it up in appeals (which you can do in perpetuity) and troll them. Absent a signed ABN (which specifically makes you aware that they won't cover something), it is expected that Medicare will cover all eligible Part A and B expenses, with her finances (or a Medicare supplement) covering the remaining 20% of the rest. If your MIL had a Medicare Advantage plan then there's a chance the surviving spouse may be responsible for a portion of this.

-TheDDC
Rules to wealth building: 90-100% VTSAX piled high and deep, 0-10% VIGAX tilt, 0% given away to banks, minimize amount given to medical-industrial complex
Lee_WSP
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by Lee_WSP »

vtMaps wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:40 am My (very limited) understanding of the law is that if MIL's estate is out of probate, the debt cannot be enforced.

Also, the bill was addressed to the MIL. Just write "deceased" on the envelope and return to sender.

--vtMaps
This answer.
InMyDreams
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by InMyDreams »

First, this is what I understand:
"If you have Medicare, the Medicare claims must be filed no later than 12 months (or 1 full calendar year) after the date when the services were provided."

It's from this article from Georgia, but I believe it is true for all Medicare:
https://consumered.georgia.gov/ask-ed/2 ... -procedure

Now, you mentioned Medicare and Aetna - was she on a MedAdvantage program, or traditional Medicare? There are previous threads about the problems of MedAdvantage programs and hospice.

And finally, what about contacting a Medicare Ombudsman
https://www.medicare.gov/claims-appeals ... rotections


I hate medical billing. With Medicare, you have some rights that are not necessarily granted to you by private insurance.
Cruise
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by Cruise »

Cruise wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:35 pm Speak of the devil: Got a bill today from ophthalmologist for services rendered on 10/26/15! They spent 50 cents to recover $1.54.
Just spoke to the MD office: The billing person said that we could disregard the bill. She quipped that "The computer must have gotten COVID."

:)
retiringwhen
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by retiringwhen »

Cruise wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:50 pm
Cruise wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:35 pm Speak of the devil: Got a bill today from ophthalmologist for services rendered on 10/26/15! They spent 50 cents to recover $1.54.
Just spoke to the MD office: The billing person said that we could disregard the bill. She quipped that "The computer must have gotten COVID."

:)
:shock: :shock: :shock: So it’s transformed into malware!
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bengal22
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by bengal22 »

Went through this with my Dad. Don't pay. Send them the death notice
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley
JGoneRiding
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Re: Hospital bill for deceased parent...received 2 years later.

Post by JGoneRiding »

shorty313 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:34 am
Silk McCue wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:25 am
shorty313 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:21 am
Yes she was on Medicare (she was 85) but I don’t know details about deductibles. I will have to see if I can find any files at their house that may give insight.
If she had been in the hospital I am confident that she had already met her deductible for the year. This is highly likely a clerical error on the part of Aetna.

I wouldn't spend anytime trying to find out if her deductible had been met but rather with bill in hand call Aetna and make certain to document your contacts and conversations.

Sorry for this hassle for you.

Cheers
It was actually her second stay in the hospital for the same issue that year.

I was hoping this question was a yes or no answer. Not a “requires more work on our part” :P Hopefully Aetna will talk to me (I’m just the daughter in law).
Ianal. I am however an executor for an estate with closed probate. If I received a bill like this now. I would either a ignore it. B. Write deceased probate closed and possible enclosed a copy of the death cert. No way would I pay it.
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