If a hospital fails to bill me or my PIP insurance four years after an accident, is there an obligation to pay them?

Posted Saturday, April 23, 2011 by Ed Harper

When you have a PIP insurance benefit, and you give the hospital billing office this information, and the hospital sits on the bill it seems a mistake was made. However, merely because the information was provided to the hospital, does not relieve the patient of the responsibility to ensure the bills are being paid. In a case of the PIP being exhausted, there is an obligation for your auto insurance to pay a bill within a reasonable time when it has been received. So if the hospital did not send the bill to the PIP insurer before the others, then the PIP company is off the hook. If the hospital did receive the bill, and sat on it, and paid the others first, you may have the ability to seek some recourse.

Also, if there was a delay in this case to send the bill to you, one should look to the statute of limitations for written contracts in your jurisdiction, and possibly seek the advice of an attorney to make sure of the legitimacy of the bill. The hospital billing office does have the responsibility to adequately send you the bill. Now it seems that you have been sent to collection, and you should ask for an accounting and put the bill collector to task to prove the viability of their claim.

On the other hand, as the patient, you did receive the services and the hospital is entitled to receive the funds provided they can muster up the proof. You may want to offer pennies on the dollar to make them drop their claim. After four years it seems likely they would accept a reduced amount.

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