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Question: Just received a bill from a hospital for services rendered in 2011. I never received a bill from them and assumed that everything had been taken care of by my health insurance. How can they send me a bill more than two years later?

Answer: The following is provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. To determine how the law applies to your specific situation, you may consider contacting an attorney directly. The most likely reason that the bill was sent over two years after the rendering of services is because the health insurance company dragged their feet. A contractor cannot bill the patient until the insurance company affirmatively pays its share; if your health insurance company caused lengthy negotiations to occur or delayed in refusing to pay, it is possible the hospital was unaware of what to bill until now. According to ARS § 12-548, a creditor has six years to collect on a debt created through written contract before the statute of limitations period runs out. If the debt was an oral debt or an open account debt, according to A.R.S. § 12-543, the creditor has three years to collect on the debt. There is no set time period that a creditor has to bill a party within these time periods.

QUESTIONS

  • Just received a bill from a hospital for services rendered in 2011. I never received a bill from them and assumed that everything had been taken care of by my health insurance. How can they send me a bill more than two years later?

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