Scranton, PA asked in Health Care Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Is there any help for someone who ran up over $30K of medical bills and has no health insurance?

My daughter, 29, was having vision problems and went to Wayne Mem ER, probably 3 yrs ago. The ER docs suspected brain tumor and sent her by ambulance to Geis CMC. After much testing, no tumor was found and the bills were totaling just over $30K. I just found out about this. She tried to forget about it and hoped it would go away but the bills were forwarded to a collection agency. She has a minimum wage job, pays child support and cannot afford to make payments. Is there any help for her?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
  • Wyomissing, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: problem is that the social worker at the hospital should have filed a medical assistance application. However, if she was poor she may have been a medical assistance recipient and the bills should have gone to Medical Assistance. At this point she is "judgment proof." it doesn't sound like she has enough in wages to pay Geisinger. She should ask them to write it off under their Hill Burton obligation. If that doesn't do it, she should consider bankruptcy. She could let them sue her for the amount, assuming she has nothing that is attachable or garnishable, but then there is that debt out there.

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