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Medical Debt to a Medical Equipment Provider

Discussion in 'Health Insurance, HMO, HIPAA & Disability' started by savannahfox, Sep 23, 2014.

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  1. savannahfox

    savannahfox Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My mom died on December 24th of 2013 from Lou Gehrig's Disease. Prior to her passing away, she and my dad resided in Florida and she had received a CPak machine to help her breathe from RespiCare of Central Florida. I'm finding out now that they were not a in network provider so my mom's health insurance plan did not send payment directly to RespiCare but instead to my mom in forms of checks that she cashed. I'm also finding out that she never mailed any of the monies to RespiCare for payment of their machine. In May of 2013 my parents relocated to NY and the machine was given back to RespiCare. Upon arrival to NY she was given a new machine from a company that took her insurance plan and all services provided were paid for. My dad's insurance nor his name or signature wasn't on any of the paperwork involved with RespiCare. Within the last couple of months a lawyer has been contacting my dad via his cell phone and threatening to take my dad to court and somehow have his pay garnished. My dad is retired, lives off his pension and SSI and is livinng basically check to check. The lawyer states that NY has a law where he can come after my dad because as my mom's spouse he is responsible for her medical bills and she committed check fraud. The checks were sent to her in her name and i'm assuming the medical equipment provider's name was not on the checks or else she wouldn't have been able to deposit them. I'm upset that my mom wasn't paying the provider but even more upset that this lawyer is calling and harassing my father and threatening to take monies from his SSI and pension checks. Can anyone please advise if by law my dad is responsible and can have his checks garnished? Please advise what steps we need to take.

    Thank You
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    First of all, please accept my personal condolences upon the passing of your mother.

    To they legal issue you posed, tell your dad to relax.
    No one can, especially a bill collector can touch (or cause others to touch, LEGALLY) your dad's SS and his pension checks.
    Even the IRS, assuming dad owed them money, could only attach 15% of his SS and/or pension income for back taxes.
    What with the illness, and subsequent death of your mom less than 10 months ago, your family has endured great pain.
    You don't (nor does dad) deserve this.
    And, don't blame mother, we don't know if she ever received the checks.
    In fact, due to her recent demise, we'll never know.
    Even if mother misappropriated the checks, so what?
    You don't know if the debt is even valid.
    So, here's what I suggest:
    1 - change dad's cell number and nay other phone number he may have;
    2 - don't give his new number out to anyone but trusted family members;
    3 - he can keep the old number on file, or tell his contacts he doesn't have a telephone number (that's what I do, not because I owe debts, but because I don't want idiots like the guy harassing dad bothering me).
    4 - reassure dad that he owes nothing;
    5 - let him sue dad, so what, nothing, that's what;
    6 - he won't sue, because he wants easy money, wants dad to give in and send him money;
    7 - just tell dad to ignore him, but if you change the number, the scavenger will slither away!!!

    God bless....

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