It’s a funny old world we live in.
Back in September, Henry knocked a table on his hand while at our local church building. I took him to an urgent care place where they diagnosed a hairline fracture and gave him a splint to wear.
Some time later, I received a bill for the full amount of his care. It said there was no insurance claim pending. I didn’t pay it because it seemed high for being insured and didn’t seem to have been submitted to my insurance. I waited a while because sometimes the provider will send a second, smaller bill after sending it to insurance. That never happened, and then I received another bill, by now past due, and every time I would call the billing department it turned out to be before or after hours.
Today I remembered to call during business hours, and got someone who told me that my insurer had denied the claim because of “third-party liability.” I said it didn’t seem like the Church would be liable since Henry knocked the table on his own hand, and I told her that in the past when another child of mine had a similar injury, my insurer has sent me a form inquiring about third-party liability, but that I had received no such form. She told me to call the insurer and ask why they’d denied the claim and ask them them to re-process it.
So I did, and my insurer said they never received any claim at all for the services. They said to call the provider back.
This time I spoke to someone else, who told me that the first person had told me wrong, and that in fact they had never actually billed the insurer, because usually when an accident happens at a “facility” such as “a park, or a church,” the insurer is likely to request more information, deny the claim, or ask the patient to pursue the claim through the third party. Well, OKAY, but none of that will happen until my insurer is billed in the first place, right? And it’s not as though the bill we were sent gave any of this information or suggested making a claim to the Church.
So, now the provider’s going to send the bill to our insurer and get the ball rolling on the rest of the process.
The thing that makes this all even sillier is that Dean works for a church-owned school whose insurance company is also owned by the church, so if the insurer does end up asking us to make the claim directly to the church, it will be a particularly apt example of robbing Peter to pay Paul.