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My niece visited in March this year from the UK, we are American Citizens, we paid for the initial cat scan to determine her diagnosis, she was admitted to hospital and later released to fly back on her booked return flight, she had a bowel blockage and had the necessary treatment to clear the blockage but no surgery, thankfully. The hospital or agencies have been sending her bills and she has now responded saying she is disabled, on limited income and lives in social housing which is all true but she acknowledges the debt and is willing to pay off as she can afford, she took out travel insurance in good faith. Today I have received a billing letter addressed to her at my address. I am planning to send this to her and not open it. I am tempted to send it to the address given and advise she does not live here but in the UK. Of course she did take out travel insurance but the insurance company in the UK have not responded as yet. Any advice ??

  • Where are you located? The US? Is that where the hospital visit happened? – Johanna Jul 11 '18 at 10:43
  • Has the U.K. insurance company indicated how long they will take to evaluate the claim? Do they have all the necessary information? In my experience they typically respond promptly, they will have defined timescales for doing so – Traveller Jul 11 '18 at 11:25
  • Yes we are in the US, Florida and yes that is where my niece was admitted into hospital. All documentation from the hospital and billing have been forwarded to the insurance company, along with two years medical notes from her UK doctor. Thank you for responding. – Margaret Ashworth Jul 11 '18 at 11:37
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    Just to check, your niece became ill while she was visiting you? She didn't visit the US to have the medical scans and diagnosis, right? Your question skips that part, presumably because it's completely obvious to you. – David Richerby Jul 11 '18 at 12:45
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    Why did you pay for the CAT scan? The way this normally works is that the patient hands over their card from their insurer, and the hospital deals with that insurer. – DJClayworth Jul 11 '18 at 16:33
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If your niece took out medical insurance for her trip to the USA, then her medical costs will be (at least mostly) covered. It should not be necessary for her to talk about her personal circumstances. She can simply tell the billing agencies that she has medical coverage and the bills will be met. She should give the name of the insurer - the hospital may be able to deal with them directly. Hospitals are used to delays in this case and although they may press for payment (US hospitals being for-profit businesses) they are used to this situation.

Being uncooperative will not help. Forward any correspondence to your niece. Contact the billing agency and give them her address so that they do not send things to you.

This assumes that your niece became sick while in the US, and did not visit the US in order to have the treatment. It also assumes that she didn't withhold from her insurer information about her medical conditions when they gave her insurance.

  • Thank you so much. I am visiting the UK next week for a family Christening so will take this envelope and its contents to her, I will not open it as that is illegal. Will wait til after The Christening to give it to her. I will then take a copy and write to the billing agency advising that she does not live here but in the UK. No this illness was definitely not something she expected. – Margaret Ashworth Jul 11 '18 at 16:26

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