Dear Help Me Howard,
I am hoping you can help me, I'm in a pickle. Sandwiched in between our health insurance provider United Health and Signet Diagnostic Imaging in Plantation, FL where my husband had an MRI last July. He was covered by insurance for the MRI and there should only be a $100 copay responsibility on our part.
He had the MRI July 9, 2012
In October, I received a bill for $1202.71!
I called Signet's billing department only to be met with frustration in the form of an offshore representative basically reading from a script and not listening to the actual problem or making any attempt to fix it.
It turns out that due to a billing error, United Health was informed that my husband's coverage ended June 30, 2012. I quickly resolved the billing error (which was not our fault either) and had his insurance retroactively reinstated so that he was was indeed covered at the time of service.
In the mean time, United Health had sent Signet Diagnostics a letter saying that the check they sent for payment for this service was an error and Signet needed to return it to United Health.
I called Signet to explain that the error was corrected and that he was covered. Signet insisted the needed a new Explanation of Benefits document sent and a letter stating that Signet could keep the money.
I called United Health, they informed me that they sent a new Explanation of Benefits to Signet so that they would know that they could keep the money, but that they cannot send a letter to that effect. I spoke to a supervisor, but to no avail, United Health insisted the the updated Explanation of Benefits was the industry standard and that was sufficient for them to apply the payment to my husband's account.
In November, I called Signet's billing department and was met with the same frustrating script reading and no one to fix my situation, which was clearly evident that he was covered by insurance and Signet admitted they received the payment, had cashed the check and still had the payment, yet they are still billing us for the full amount of $1202.71. I explained to them that United Health sent an updated Explanation of Benefits and that is what they considered notification that Signet can keep the payment and should apply it to my husband's account.
I thought the problem went away until I received a letter from Medicredit collection agency in January stating that we owed $1202.71 and that we had 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt or pay it before it negatively affected his credit rating.
I have spent countless hours on the phone back and forth stuck in the middle of United Health and Signet. United Health has called Signet to inform them that my husband was covered at the time of service and faxed and mailed the updated Explanation of Benefits requested numerous times, but it seems that every time they speak to someone else at Signet's billing dept, they get a different answer and the bottom line is that we are still being billed, it has probably been reported against his credit rating already and I cannot get anyone to resolve the issue.
I also made several calls to Medicredit, they are awful, rude people there who do not care that insurance paid the bill or that my husband was covered by insurance at the time of service and only want payment, they continued calling and asking for payment even after I explained the situation to them. Each time I spoke to them, I would get a different story, they actually lied and told me that Signet returned the money to the United Health at one point.
Last week a rep from United Health named Elia has been working on this for me for several weeks, she called Signet, spoke with a supervisor in their billing dept named Eddie Smith and my husband signed a HIPAA release so that she could directly fax the Explanation of Benefits to him and told her that he would take care of the issue, apply the payment to my husbands account, and recall the bill from the collection agency.
Yesterday the same supervisor, Eddie Smith, called me to say that the Explanation of Benefits they received was not good enough because it had the same date on it. I asked him why he didn't tell that to Elia and he said he never spoke to anyone from United Health. He also read his script again telling me that they cannot apply the payment to my husband's account until they receive an updated Explanation of Benefits with w NEW date on it and a letter stating that they do not have to return the payment (which they still have and never have returned since they received it in August 2012).
Please help! I am stuck in the worst battle of "he said, she said" and our credit rating is going to suffer as a result of all this incompetence and lack of communication!