Sadly, California consumers often find themselves with financially crippling medical debt even if they have insurance. This is because hospital stays frequently involve numerous caregivers, and patients are not guaranteed that every hospital caregiver is in their insurance carrier’s network. One huge expense that Insured California patients deal with involves ambulance rides. Typically, ambulances transport patients over very short distances. However, these small trips may cost consumers thousands of dollars. If the ambulance company providing service is outside of a patient’s network, the consumer gets stuck with most of the bill. Unfortunately, this type of surprise expense often results in unpaid bills, medical debt, and eventual credit score damage.
Real Cases of California Consumers Incurring Medical Debt from Sky-High Ambulance Bills
Recently, a private company charged California resident, Devin Hall, with $7,109.70 for his ambulance ride. Mr. Hall is currently battling Stage Three prostate cancer. Another patient in California ended up with a $3,660 bill for a 4-mile ride. Then, another individual faced a $8,460 tab from an ambulance company because he was transported from one hospital to another.
These are huge expenses that throw most California consumers off balance financially. Also, unlike a lot of medical debt, consumers have little control over ambulance ride costs. After all, patients can choose in-network doctors and hospitals. Yet, other individuals typically choose ambulance companies. For example, if you call 911, the dispatcher selects the ambulance crew. The same thing happens if you are in an accident and the police or a bystander calls 911.
Sometimes, California consumers get lucky, and dispatchers contact volunteer organizations that offer free – or nearly free – hospital transportation. However, most of the time, they select private ambulance companies that set their own prices. If medical insurance companies pay, they contribute a “fair” amount toward the expense. This normally leaves California patients with at least half of the bill from the ambulance company. This is, of course, in addition to other hospital-related expenses not covered by their medical insurance.
How Medical Debt in California Leads to Debt Collection Calls and Damaged Credit Scores
California consumers can fight inflated ambulance bills, and ambulance companies may or may not cooperate. Also, if you do wish to challenge an extraordinarily high bill, you probably have about six months to settle the matter. According to new credit reporting policies, medical debt must stay off credit reports until it is at least six months old.
Eventually, however, unpaid bills are sold to medical debt collectors and reported to the three major credit bureaus. Then, these reported debts stay on credit reports and cripple credit scores for up to seven years before they expire. In the meantime, California consumers with delinquent medical debt face calls and letters from debt collectors.
At this point, California with medical bills in debt collection should remember that they still have rights when dealing with medical debt collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects all consumers against abusive debt collectors. So, even if you legitimately owe money, there are certain tactics that debt collection agents may not use when trying to get you to pay.
How California Consumers Should Deal with Abusive Medical Debt Collectors
If a medical debt collector calls you at all hours of the night and morning, or uses harsh language with you, you don’t have to take it. California residents also don’t have to deal with bogus threats from debt collectors, belittling, or repeated phone calls meant to harass.
Yet, if you have experienced any of these offenses, or if a medical debt collector makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in California. When you call our firm, an experienced FDCPA attorney will stop debt collector abuse quickly, legally, and for free. In addition, you may receive damage payments if we file a successful action against the debt collection agency.
Stop Debt Collector Harassment in California
Don’t put up with abusive debt collectors. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been ending debt collector harassment and cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (916) 438-9400 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about how to Stop Debt Collector Harassment for Free, please visit https://creditrepairlawyersam.com/california/debt-collector-harassment-ca/.