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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/sockwonder-you-wrote-youre-thinking-19675981.aspx

Subject:  Re: I have a collection!!! Date:  10/6/2003  8:16 PM
Author:  joelcorley Number:  171159 of 308858

sockwonder,

You wrote, You're thinking irrationally. It's never about who would win the case, but who has the resources (time, people and money) to fight the case. They'll have you beat hands down every time. Nevertheless, I'll bet the world that you'd lose the case. Why? Because it's your insurance! Believe it or not, you, and only you are responsible for your accounts! It's not you're wife's responsibility because it's not her account. If you want her to pay it, you have to pay it first, and sue her separately for the money. It's not anyone else's fault or problem that you and your wife or ex-wife don't communicate. It never was, it never is, and it never will be. You're in denial man!

Perhaps. It's certainly about who would win the case. But I think I have the resources to win it. And I'm pretty skeptical that they would fight me over $83. What's more, I'm not just talking about waiting until they sue me. I'm suggesting that I may sue them first; but we'll see.

Your only financial obligation to your insurance "account" is your insurance premiums. Beyond that, use of your insurance account alone obligates you to nothing. If that weren't true, why would doctors make you sign their financial responsibility notice when you go for a visit? Why does the emergency room want someone to sign for the patient? It's because they want to establish a clear contractual relationship with the patient or someone that intends to take financial responsibility for that patient. Of course, a signature isn't required to establish a contract with the patient -- only the rendering of services that are either actively accepted or medically necessary is required. However, that only creates a contract between the patient or their guardian and the provider. It doesn't create a contract between the provider and a third party.

Also, By using your insurace card, she is giving your word for you that you will pay for the services rendered.

Nope. Can't happen. It would require power of attorney in order for my XSO to enter into a contract without my knowledge. And that's something my XSO definitely does not have.

Also you wrote, The only thing I can say at this point is to please consult an attorney, because I feel like I'm spitting into the wind. You're obviously in an advanced stage of denial, and unable to see the clear facts as they lay before you. The fact is, the card holder (insurance or credit) is responsible for the charges incurred by any authorized user.

I don't know why you're spitting into the wind; but I certainly don't see why I would consult an attorney over $83. That would seem foolish in the extreme. Also, you seem to have missed something when you were reading my post: It doesn't appear that the provider ever filed with my insurance carrier at all. Quite likely they filed with the wrong carrier and were denied. In any case, insurance is not a checking (asset) or revolving (liability) account, so it's not like "charges" can be made on it.

Health insurance pays whatever bills it's contracted to pay -- in other words, they have previously determined rates for various procedures and medications and if a covered individual has one of those procedures and medications and the insurance is properly billed for it, they're obliged to pay for it. If it's an HMO, PPO or POS and the provider is in-network, the provider must settle for that payment because that's what he agreed to when he signed the contract with the insurance carrier. If the provider is out of network, then he gets whatever the insurance company deems is appropriate under their contract with the insured and then the provider has to collect – solely – from the patient or the individual that signed as the responsible party during the visit.

In any case I don't have credit with my insurance carrier. I don't have a balance with them either. And if I could, the obligation would be between the insurance company and me. It wouldn't magically extend to the providers.

- Joel
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