Balance Billers


New member
Jan 6, 2020
I have found "balance billing" or "surprise billing" to be a real problem. My wife has had ER visits in which we went to an in-network hospital. But some of the providers such as labs, x-rays, purposely stay out of insurance networks. Insurance will reimburse these providers at in-network rates. But since these providers choose to stay out of network, they send follow up bills to the patients saying that they want their full retail rate.

I consistently refused to pay them any more than my copay or co-insurance amount. These providers then turned the bills over to collection agencies. When contacted by the collection agents, I again refused to pay and demanded that the collection agents never contact me again. So far, nothing has come of this. I have never paid a balance biller and never will.


Active member
Apr 18, 2018
Santa Monica
I have a story related to the above. I'll try to be brief but it started back in later 2016 and I ended up in a teaching medical hospital in our town. Had a team of doctors trying to "find" what was wrong as I could not walk, it was my knee.

Due to their negligence in "finding" the staph infection I ended up in and out of the hospital and in and out of 3 rehabs. When I finally got "fixed" I had spent 4.5 months in their "care" and in rehabs.

All this extra downtime left me with upper 1000's in balance bills. I asked the hospital to waive these and they would not. So I started to make some payments and then said "oh forget this, they were at fault"... I stopped paying, didn't take their calls and finally threw the bag of unpaid bills in the trash.

They are NOT always right and that's an understatement. They put fear in everyone and one has to think things out and decide what they can and will do. I hope I never see another hospital and for sure rehab.