killacross wrote: ↑
Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:05 am
SN: Not sure what they are gonna do with my MIL. She is not improving, but she is incredibly stable. She can't stay at the hospital forever. Also...she has 0 insurance (besides medicaid/medicare) and $0 in assets, so some administrator is gonna be piiiiissssssseeeeed. Honestly, I THINK/I'm pretty sure that the hospital/state doesn't come after you for parent's medical debt (they eventually go after the estate -- again $0)...but I'm kinda concerned that we claimed them as dependents last year on our taxes.
Double post since this is a different issue. Written at the end of 2019 by an asset management company:
The North Carolina General Statute 14-326.1 states:
“If any person being of full age, and having sufficient income after reasonably providing for his or her own immediate family shall, without reasonable cause, neglect to maintain or support his or her parent or parents, if such parent or parents be sick or not able to work and have not sufficient means or ability to maintain or support themselves, such person shall be deemed guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor; upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense such person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If there be more than one person bound under the provisions of the next preceding paragraph to support the same parent or parents, they shall share equitably in the discharge of such duty.”
This law is currently not being enforced in North Carolina, but there was a recent case in Pennsylvania where a court found an adult child liable for $92,943 of a parent’s medical treatment.
There have been a slew of lawsuits from hospitals on patients who couldn't pay their bills as well lately, but individually as they've been called out by journalists they've reversed course... if you have low income.
However... (from Business Insider)
Terms and conditions: Medical providers who accept the money won't be allowed to bill patients who have COVID-19 — or are presumed to have the disease — any amount greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay if the care had been given by a provider in their network. Many health insurers have already said they won't bill patients for COVID-related treatments.
Healthcare providers who treat people with the coronavirus — or people who are suspected to have it — and who don't have insurance can get reimbursed by the federal government. Providers who accept government reimbursement are not allowed to bill patients for the care, said Tom Engels, administrator for the Health Resources and Services Administration, on the call with reporters.
So if the hospital accepted government funds under the CARES act, they shouldn't be able to give you the full "fuck you" price (multiple parents, and as long as your MIL has been on a ventilator is easily 5 and has a chance to clear 6 figures). If the hospital pings the government to get reimbursed (I imagine when they think they can't collect), they/you won't owe anything.
What you need to worry about though (my non-legal opinion/educated? guess) is if your sister who's in charge of the mom's care (or the mom herself, upon recovery) tells the hospital that you'll pay for it instead of her and she indicates you have the means to do so. That might get lawyers sicced on you if it gets expensive enough since hospitals are bleeding money. Lawsuits from hospitals/nursing homes have been successful in at least 5 states in the past year or so from what I could find. None in NC specifically, but VA was 1 of the 5.