Yesterday I received a bill from a doctor in NYC addressed to my husband. The bill was for services rendered in March, 2011!! Almost 2 1/2 years ago. The total bill was $7500.00 and our insurance paid $5500.00 in that same month. Now I have gotten a bill, or rather my husband has gotten a bill, for the remaining $2000.00.
To say I am angry is an understatement! Not just that the bill came years after the service but that I now have had to relive that horrible time when we were desperately trying to save his life and had gone cross country to Mount Sinai to find the best surgeon in the country. It turns out the surgeon really wanted to do the surgery so his fellow physicians could observe this extremely unusual surgery. I don't believe he ever though he could actually save my husband but he put him through a 12 hour surgery anyway. When he came out to speak to me after the surgery he was elated about how well it had gone and almost as an aside he said, by the way, this was not a cure, his cancer is too aggressive.
As a matter of principle I do not want to pay this bill. How dare they bill me years later! But, do I morally or legally owe it? I want to send the invoice back with a big DECEASED written across the front but a friend here in California says that at least in this state that they have up to 4 1/2 years to bill you!!!
What do you think? Am I overreacting and should I just pay it? It makes me wonder if there are any other surprises waiting for me.