Submitted by mainemariners t3_zz66bf in Maine

Does anyone know how long a hospital has to bill you after services were rendered in Maine? A google search says 6 months is the limit but I didn’t know if anyone knew if that was the actual law or not. I received a bill almost a year and a half after a procedure I had and I feel like that’s just ridiculously late. Any help is greatly appreciated!



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PvtPug t1_j29qcyn wrote

Fuck em, new legislation states medical debt cannot negatively impact your credit score. Tell em to pound sand and I bet you never see it again. Medical billing in this country is a damn scam. Edit: did some digging and I found same as you in Maine they have 6 months and then can fuck right off. Keep your money.


coolcalmaesop t1_j2b2rmk wrote

Medical debt is really holding me back and it’s very frustrating. The only thing I’ve ever bought that I can’t afford to keep is my life. I do plan on keeping it, but I’ll be paying for it for.

Thomas Agency can kiss my ass cheeks.


Beasagdeux t1_j2eyiyq wrote

Markham Associates as well.

MaineHealth hit me with a $2K ER bill a couple months ago.. with a special letter with my first bill telling me I had only until the end of the month because they were planning on sending it to collections. I get it. I have lousy insurance and no income. But honestly.. 2 weeks? What normal person can just write a check for something like that.

Now working on my second bankruptcy due to medical debt.


coolcalmaesop t1_j2f8kc9 wrote

That is my problem as well…if you are struggling with anything else in life they go to collections before you can set anything up regarding income based repayment with the financial office.

The biggest slap in the face for me is that I owe some bills from pregnancy, yet the hospital I gave birth at changed over to a different records system and now has no record of any of the tests/procedures I’m still supposed to pay for.


Sticky_Robot t1_j2bafpa wrote

Have you looked into bankruptcy? My friend is a banker who approves loans so his entire job is to look at credit reports and he said the hit to credit from bankruptcy isn't terribly harsh and only lasts a few years. The hit is around 200 to the score if it was decent but if your credit is already bad it can actually increase it.

If paying off your debt is unfeasible it might be better to just walk around with worse credit for a little while.

Edit: The majority of peoples experience with bankruptcy is limited to a game over in Monopoly. If you have extensive medical debt put some real time and effort into researching it. Bankruptcy is a consumer benefit, not a punishment.


the_paruretic t1_j2be4n0 wrote

7 years.

Stop giving garbage advice to people.


Sticky_Robot t1_j2bg7ns wrote

Yeah, how long will it take to pay off medical debt? Use your head.

If someone has tens of thousands in medical debt biting the bullet and taking the credit hit will give them significant financial freedom no longer needing to worry about the debt. Bad credit isn't the end of the world when the alternative is drowning in debt. If you can't pay your bills you end up with bad credit anyway lol.


the_paruretic t1_j2bgnln wrote

>a few years.

That's not the point. Personal bankruptcy stays on your credit for 7 years. Use your head, you fucking idiot.


Sticky_Robot t1_j2bhwlv wrote

7 years is nothing compared to the damage persistent medical debt can be. No not 10k, but people who get 75k from uninsured surgery and can't pay it off. Bankruptcy doesn't mean you can't buy stuff at all it just hurts it by 150~ points. With decent credit prior you'd still be around 600. If you have bad credit bankruptcy can actually increase your credit score.

Bankruptcy is a consumer benefit, not a penalty. If you can't pay your bills it's much better to go bankrupt than to go deeper and deeper in debt.


coolcalmaesop t1_j2bf88f wrote

I’ve looked at it but I’m not deep enough in that I think I would need to go that route. Just deep enough that it affects my credit as each bill is broken into multiple accounts instead of just one large single account.


SeelieForest t1_j2b7xl3 wrote

>Medical billing in this country is a damn scam.

BUT it's a lesser evil scam!! Every election you will be told to suck it up and just "accept the way things are, because things could be worse".

And you will hear that until the day you die as people around you tell you ANYTHING DIFFERENT is impossible.


Guygan t1_j2aa3ec wrote

You’re gonna think this is a dumb idea, but call the hospital billing department and ask them. They will hopefully know the law. You don’t have to tell them who you are.


TheyMissMeOnFacebook t1_j2bkqav wrote

I worked in medical billing for 6 years. The provider or facility has what is called timely filing limits. This is the amount of time that the provider or facility has to file a claim starting from the date of service. Most are a year, but some are 6 months. The length of time is determined by the insurance company and is part of their contract with the provider or facility. So since you also have a contract of sorts with your insurance, you have to abide by this time limit as well, technically. If the doctor doesn't submit the bill to the insurance until 11 months from the day you saw the doctor, the doctor is within their rights and the insurance will process it and determine if you owe money. And then the doctor is legally allowed to bill you by the terms of the insurance contract. I know this is not the answer you want to hear, and I desperately deeply with all of my soul despise our medical system and I wish we would go to Medicare for all. But just to let you know, this could be the reason why it took so long for you to get the bill. I would still call them and try to negotiate. They will often times offer a significant discount if you pay up front or in full. At least you could spread it out in payments. Or just ignore it and take the hit to your credit--up to you.


Longjumping_West_907 t1_j2b8las wrote

Not a lawyer but my MIL got a bill 16 months after a hospital visit and I wrote them a letter saying "too f***ing late" in more polite terms. Never got a reply and never got another bill. It's worth a try. I wouldn't just blow it off, they will send it to collections and you don't want to deal with that.


Ok-Area-9271 t1_j2bmsih wrote

We got a bill from Maine Med earlier this year for something from our daughter's birth. Our daughter is 4. So I don't think there is a limit 😂


sunshinekate131313 t1_j2ek8lp wrote

I got a bill from northern light in Bangor, it was just a bill with no description of services and it was dated from at least a year prior. I called to ask for itemization (and at minimum what the bill was for) no one in the billing office could figure it out, they told me it was forgiven and it was. Always call to check, ask for itemization. I have no clue what it was for and I kind of wonder if they mistakenly sent me a bill meant for someone else.


jackcat1983 t1_j2din78 wrote

I am not sure if you went through the Maine General system but if you pay out of pocket they take a percentage off the bill and can send it to the credit company where you make low monthly payments with no interest!


Mainah_girl t1_j2ezdr4 wrote

They can legally pursue 7 year from the date of the LAST CHARGE OR PAYMENT ACTIVITY. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the statute of limitation governs how this is collected.

Hypothetically, if this bill was pending with insurance and final payments and and processing was completed on pending charges, they they would bill you for the remaining amount (and 18 months would be not unusual, I worked in medical billing you would be amazed how long it can take). The bill can be pursued up to 7 years from the date of the last payment by the insurance company.

They will send it out to collection usually in 90 to 120 days. The insurance company can put this on your credit profile as a bad debt. The law is changing on the ability to medical debt to your credit profile but this would likely be grandfathered in because it was over a year ago.

IF you can afford to try to settle with the hospital. We routinely settled for 50% to 75% for balances after insurance if people could come up with the lump sum within 30 days. IF you go this route get the settlement agreement in writing (an email is sufficient, a letter is better). If not you can always make small monthly payments for how ever long it takes to pay it off.

i will you luck and if it is any consolation, this happens all the time, especially with insurance processing. With one insurance company we had to submit a claim 3 times before the company would process the the claim and they would routinely take 9 month to a year to pay the bill. It was 2 years later before the patient even saw the balance after insurance.