I recently had a fall whilst on vacation in the states. Stupidly (I know) i didn't have insurance. I was referred by the ski lift nurse (fell on the slopes) to the local ER with a broken hand.
Before I entered the Er I told the reception my situation. Foreigner , no insurance. I made it very very clear that before I accumulated any charges I wanted to be explained how the costing worked so that I could make an informed decision whether to go ahead and have treatment or fly back to Europe.i made it clear that I didn't know how the USA health care system worked. The receptionist told me not to worry put me into a room and told me someone would chat to me. A nurse entered and check my blood pressure. I told her I did not want treatment until I spoke to someone regarding the cost. She told me she was not allowed to talk about movey. Same happened with the physician. Finally the original receptionist enters and told me that by simply walking into that room I had acquired a bill of 350$. And predicted treatment would be $2000 +. I made the decision to refuse treatment. They then sent into the owner of the hospital to talk me into staying, I explained I would visit an urgent care centre which would be more affordable or fly home. He said he was affiliated with the urgent care centre and that it would cost more there. I explained To him that I had been led into his hospital under false pretences and that didn't feel I should pay the 350$ since I had been lied to at reception. I signed a release form left, no one asked me to pay a bill at this point. I then attended urgent care. Which of course mire affordable. The doctor there heard my ER story and told me the ER had lied to me and had taken advantage. I continued treatment with urgent care. Paid upfront. The ER had my USA contact details , email and a family members Europe address. Without contacting me directly one month later whilst I was still in the USA they sent a bill to Europe. I didn't directly relieve this since I was in the states. Today a second later came, 3 weeks after the first stating I am 30 days overdue on my payment.
I have left the USA but hope to pick back up the trip I had cut short due to my minor injury. I'm feeling stressed at the prospect of being denied entry due to this bill. I have paid my urgent care bill and feel angry at the ER for lying to me and taking advantage of my vulnerable situation . The bill is not large but principle makes me want to fight it. My question is, if I re-enter the states is it possible they hand my name to a collections agent for this amount.? I have not yet contacted the hospital since I'd like to seek advice first.