Medical Debt Defense & Charity Care

Medical Debt Defense takes a different approach than normal debt defense.  There are many free, non-attorney options for charity care discharge, waiting for insurance to pay out, or defenses if your insurance was not billed properly.  This page is to help you explore these issues of how best to defend yourself from medical debt collectors.

Medical Debt Defense & Charity Care

Washington Debt Law has experience in defending against medical debt collection.  Prior to retaining us for the legal services we can provide, we want to make sure you have fully explored the non-attorney free approaches.  In order to defend you legally, we would also need to explore the same issues to ensure that any insurance was properly billed and to see if


Did you have insurance and was it billed properly?

To know if it was billed properly,  you need to get the explanation of benefits that was sent to your insurer.  Compare this to any quotes or bills that you received to ensure there is no mark ups, repeat services, or other fraud.  Medical billing errors and fraud are extremely common.  If necessary, a medical billing advocate can be retained- you can call us for a recommendation if you feel this might be a necessary service.


Did you have insurance and was the bill rejected?

If the medical provider bill was rejected, the question is why?  Did the provider tell you it was pre-approved but your insurer said it was not?  That can be a defense.  Did the medical provider code the bill wrong or include repeat charges?  That can be a defense.  Did you appeal the rejection timely?  If not, you might be on the hook.  Get the detailed reasons why the bill was rejected from your insurer to find out what happened.


Did you get into an accident and the hospital refused to bill your major medical and instead relied on PIP only?

Medical providers usually negotiate discounts with large medical insurers.  If you get into an accident and the hospital knows you have PIP coverage, they often times will refuse to bill your major medical in order to make more money on the services.  Depending upon the circumstances, this can be a defense and/or a violation of consumer protection laws.  Additionally, many providers will send you to collection while your personal injury case is resolving putting you into a precarious spot.  Call us to see how we can help.


Did you apply for Charity Care?

Charity care is not just for the poor or for those who need a total write off of the debt.  Charity care also functions those making decent wages and just need a payment plan that collections agencies refuse to offer.  Washington State has laws requiring public hospitals to provide charity care options for patients.  See RCW 70.170.060 and WAC 246-453.

To help you to apply for charity care, please see the free charity care packet from

If a medical provider will not give you a charity care application, we recommend that you explain that pursuant to Washington Law you have the right to apply for charity care even if you are sent to collections.  If they still refuse, document the event by using your cell phone to record only yourself (selfie style) with no one else in the frame (privacy/consent issues) and say your name, time, date, and that you are at (name of hospital) and the staff (or name of person you are speaking with) is refusing to give you a charity care application despite your request.  In most instances, they will hand it over.  If not, call us.


If you need our help or would like a free consultation, call (206) 535-2559

If you have exhausted your insurance and charity care options and require a legal defense, give us a call to see how we can help.