Hello Everyone, I have been on MyFico for now over two years and I have cleaned my credit up and have totally turned my credit around. I can't thank everyone enough for all the help you have given me!
Today, I logged in and realized I had a new medial collection on my credit report -- and need some advice. I had Blue Cross Blue Shield and my deductible was very high. Which was at that time either 3K or 5K - I have to verify. That was my first time purchasing medical insurance and I didn't do the necessary homework + truly understand deductibles. Plus, I didn't think medical visits to doctors with co-pays would result in such high bills and that my BCBS wouldn't pay for them.
For the new collection on my credit report -- I went for a simple allergy test - no blood work but skinpric test - and my insurance company didn't pay anything. I was billed $345 - now in collections the bill is $645.
I reached out to allergy testing center before it went to collections and told them it was too high and to talk to my insurance company. They reached back out and told me Blue Cross didn't pay anything because at that time I was about 5 months into my insurance plan and my deductible was still not paid. Since the last interaction - I forgotten about the bill -- which is terrible - but my mind has been all over the place.
Now, I have this collection - but I really can't afford that for a simple test for which I was in their office for 15 mins. The debt is now on my credit report and was sold to collections.
What should be my next steps?
Should I contact BCBS even though I am no longer with them and see what my options are?
Should I do HIPAA?
Should I send out a debt validation letter? In the HealthCareBlueBook - in my zipcode the fair price is $16 for allergy testing. And I just checked and I have another bill Blue Cross only paid a very small amount - for a finger xray and exam.
Now, I am worried they are going to be added next. I am paying off my student loans and saving for a downpayment of a home - and this has me worried.
Thanks for your help!
If it's a legitimate bill (and it sounds like it is), then the best thing to do for your credit is to pay it ASAP. Paying it off will help your scores which will ultimately help you when you're ready to purchase your home. If you think the price for the service was too high, call them and see if you can negotiate how much you pay (some medical collections will take at least 60% of the amount due and call it even), but YMMV. If you have income that you can save toward the house, I suggest putting that on the medical bills so that your credit doesn't suffer.
Good luck to you!
You should reach out to Blue Cross, or better yet - do you still have online access even though you're no longer with them?
Even when medical insurance doesn't cover something for whatever reason they adjust the claim down to their "contract rate". $345 for an allergy test does sound high, and you might get some of the fees increasing it to $645 removed, those are likely added by the collection agency and you never agreed to them. If you want to pay, see if you can work directly with the medical provider, not the collection agency..
I have high cholesterol and my doctor orders an annual blood test to check on the effectiveness of my medication in lowering it. That test has always been covered as "preventive care" by my Healthcare.gov insurance. But the company I had for 2015 refused to pay anything, but at least they got the $300+ billing amount reduced to $160, their "contract rate" for me to pay.
What you'll be looking for with Blue Cross is an EOB - Explanation of Benefits - which will detail what they didn't pay & why, but will also show their adjustment to the original amount billed as your amount to pay.