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Medicare, Medicaid, Life and Health Insurance/Doctor office wrong about accepting medicaid

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Hello,

I am permanently disabled and receiving medicaid as part of being on SSI. I use medicaid a secondary, as I am still on my father's healthcare as well. My father's healthcare pays about 60-80% and then medicaid picks up the rest.

A few months ago I saw a neurologist. I ask the women at the front desk if they could use it as a secondary, they said yes and made a copy of my card. Knowing I would not receive a bill I allowed the office to perform any necessary tests (there were many). A few weeks later I received a bill for $300. I called up the office to tell them to put the remainder through the medicaid and they said they do not take medicaid. I asked them why they even made a copy of my card, as I would have chosen another doctor. And they said that they make a copy just in case I need prescriptions.

I was never told this was the reason at the time of my visit and cannot afford the $300 dollars as I am only living off of $180 a month after rent. I do not know what to do, if there is even anything I can do. I called up my local medicaid office and the woman was very nasty saying that it is not their problem or their fault, that what I am saying does not even make any sense. She said it was my fault for not ensuring they participated in medicaid, but I did! I have been disabled my whole life and see many doctor, I know to ask if they accept both insurances.

Is there anything I can do?

Thank you in advance.

Answer
I am so sorry this is happening to you.  If the neurologist does not accept Medicaid patients then they are obligated to have something in writing signed by you stating that you will be responsible for the bill. Contact your doctor's office and find out if you signed an agreement that you would be responsible for the balance and ask them to send you a copy.  If they have nothing in writing, then you should not be responsible. If they continue to send you bills then call the New York Medicaid Helpline at 1-800-541-2831.

I hope this helps.  

Medicare, Medicaid, Life and Health Insurance

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Joy B. Hicks, MBA, CPM

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As a Medical Office Expert, I can answer any question related to the medical office from the prospective of hospital and physician office staff and patients.

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