I had to let his Medigap insurance lapse, for financial reasons. This was after conferring with his family, who couldn’t pay either. He recently had to go to the hospital, and now there is a bill which he can’t pay. Am I liable? Was I negligent?

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No, as an agent for your friend, you are not responsible for his hospital bill.
Helpful Answer (1)

Yes, billing g Dept.Financial Assistance is #1
#2 Apply for Medicaid, have income, assetts, housing and utility costs, medication co-pays, Doctor and current hospital bills past 12 months, Transportation to medical appointments, doctor ordered OTC meds & supplies. You can look up median income for your area online and federal poverty level, as a guide. Expanded Medicaid often has programs for 100%,120% & 150% of poverty level. Other places used % of median income..which is higher.

Good news- most of this is stuff you need to file taxes, so easy time to gather it.
If not qualified for Medicaid..too much income (ask about Medicaid Spend Down) or investment assetts to Spend Down, apply anyway and document spend down.

Bad news: You can get Medicare Supplement any time, but the few companies that will accept/ underwrite someone with even average health issues, the premium is the same as age
99 1/2!! So easiest cost search is just plug in that as the age.

Otherwise you have to wait till next October and pick a Medicare Advantage Plan, which leaves you limited to their Network and who will take new patients...they purposely don't track that. Often doctors drop out of the network at end of year... should be illegal IMHO.

Do sign up for Extra Help from Social Security to pay Part B premiums, & most or all of Part D premium and Co- insurance for Rx.

Depending where you live, Medicare Advantage Plan may not have Board Certified Specialist you may need. Or only one in the area, sometimes they are visiting on rotation a few times a month. This happened to a friend's parents in CA.
While UCLA Hospital was a 2+ hour drive, they were not on Advantage Plan. The Oncologist was Not Board Certified! The Cardiac Surgeon visited from outside their area, and who came kept changing. Had to wait 2 weeks for critical surgery, 6 weeks if considered only urgently needed cardiac major surgery. So check it out in detail!
Helpful Answer (0)

Hospitals do have programs to decrease the balances if patients are unable to pay.
Call the billing department and inform them; they will mail you a packet to fill out that will require financial information on the patient so you’ll have to prove he doesn’t have resources to pay. Then they can discount balances if he meets their eligibility & set up a payment plan for him.
Helpful Answer (5)

Yes, talk to the billing dept. Explain he has no supplimental. Maybe they can discount some of the balances due. Is he able to make payments. You could have a payment schedule done for him. I agree, see if he qualifies for Medicaid.
Helpful Answer (5)

You wouldn't be liable unless you personally guaranteed the bill at the hospital. If you speak to the people in hospital billing, they might be able to guide you. Many states have options for people with no money and hospital bills.

Possibly it is time to have your friend apply for Medicaid.
Helpful Answer (4)

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