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Student unpaid medical Bills

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  • Student unpaid medical Bills

    I am an international student and took insurance from an Indian Company that covered me for $50000 for medical treatment. I had to undergo a surgery for that the hospital billed me for more than $550000. My insurance company has settled about 40% of the bill (after negotiation, that is they paid $50000 against clicker test settlement of more than $200000. I have received a bill from hospital for balance $350000 and I don't know how to pay this as I do not have resources. The facts are summarized below:
    1) I am an international student staying off campus;
    2) I am getting the bills / reminders / notices by post;
    3) I do not have SSN;
    4) I have no source of income;
    5) I have one more year to go before I complete my college.
    I would like to know how to deal with them so that in future if I continue to study / work in USA I keep on getting medical treatment and I am able to obtain fresh VISA and can enter USA without any problem.
    Last edited by lurapowlo1987; 05-21-2020, 11:30 AM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    Sorry about your situation but a lot of cheaper / international insurances have such limitations. That's why it's best to buy insurance sponsored by the University.
    That being said, what usually happens after a claim is that the insurance uses the pre-negotiated rate (in network / out of network) to determine the final cost (so a $100K surgery could be discounted to $50,000). Then you are responsible for the deductible and outof pocket, while the insurance covers the rest (example: you pay $7,000 and insurance pays the remaining $43,000). Hospitals cannot come after you for the difference (original - discounted cost).

    I would advice that you look at the insurance settlement letter. It should clearly have your share and theirs listed on it. Also, there should be a statement on it that states that "patient is not liable for the difference". If it isn't listed, first contact the insurance company and explain the situation / get guidance.
    Then call the hospital billing dept and ask for their explanation as well.

    If after getting all the facts, you are still responsible for the bill, then your international status, source of income, etc can be used to get a further deduction from the hospital (they will need proof of your income tax or W2 to validate that you don't make much / below poverty line income). Then they will come up with a final number that you will still need to pay which should be significantly cheaper than what you have stated.

    Not doing anything will worsen the situation as it goes into collections.
    Opinion only. Cannot be construed as legal advice.


    • #3
      When you purchase the insurance from a foreign company such as from an Indian company, most of the times, there is no PPO network (no participating hospitals/doctors) and therefore, that means that there is no network negotiated fees.

      That is why it is always recommended to purchase the insurance from a US based company and purchase high policy maximum, as the healthcare expenses are so high in the US. You can read more about

      As per the remaining bill, work with the hospital to see what is the best deal they can give, depending upon how much you can actually pay per month. Ignoring it would not be a good idea, as it can jeopardize your status here.

      Thanks & Regards
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