First a motorcycle accident, then medical bills, then collections. Now a trial. – KIRO 7 Seattle News


Seattle, WA – How does someone get injured in an accident…

“My knee has dislocated; I tore all of my ligaments except my ACL.

Have health insurance …

“My balance was still paid. Everything was good. “

And still sued for almost $ 16,000?

Ask Andrea Vargas. But wait – she doesn’t know either.

“I went to the right doctors and, you know, I followed everything I’m supposed to do,” says Vargas. “And still being stuck with a bill that I shouldn’t have been.” It is quite frustrating.

See, Vargas is a member of Kaiser Permanente. It’s a health maintenance organization, or HMO, which means if you pay your premiums and copays and see their doctors, everything should be paid for.

The Seattle resident says she never received a bill. And then, more than four years after her first treatment, she was sued by a collection agency.

“I’m frustrated, I’m angry. I’m sad, ”she said.

Andrea therefore decided to sue Kaiser and his collection agency, Evergreen Professional Recoveries. Jason Anderson is his lawyer.

“What my client hasn’t been able to figure out to this day is why she was sued in the first place,” Anderson said. “Why was she prosecuted? “

Perhaps that is what is at stake here: Many health insurers want their members to use any auto insurance coverage before their medical benefits take effect.

Anderson says this case has been going on for months and Kaiser has not presented this information to him or Andrea.

“So that’s what makes me think as a lawyer, because you would think they would come right in and say that’s why they think she owes money,” Anderson said.

Response from Kaiser:

“Kaiser Permanente member services are available by phone, email and chat to help our members understand their benefits and get the care they need. While we cannot speak to the care of an individual, we remain committed to providing each member with the best experience, and we are addressing those concerns. “

The attorney for the collection agency, Evergreen Professional Recoveries, told me “no comment.”

But Anderson says the collection is still on Vargas’ credit report. And she says it prevents her from buying a house.

“I was shortlisted, but they wouldn’t let me continue because they wanted me to take care of these collections – the invoices in collection first,” says Vargas. “But I couldn’t do it because it’s going on with no answers.”

The collection agency dropped the lawsuit without prejudice.

However, Becky House of nonprofit American Financial Solutions says companies can wait years before filing complaints in these cases.

“They’ve got six years to come after you to make this complaint,” House said. “It’s a long time.”

House says if something like this shows up on your credit report, you can dispute it.

“I will definitely do this through the credit bureaus,” House says. “Who can then take the necessary steps to make sure the information is correct and should be there, or remove it from my credit report.”

Vargas is moving forward with his lawsuit against Kaiser and the collection agency. Because it demands answers and the repair of its financial reputation.

“Personally, I want this all shut down, but I really want what caused this fixed,” Vargas said.

Kaiser tells me he sends notices to members when he’s not paying, along with an explanation of the benefits. But lawyer Jason Anderson obviously tells a different story.

We will keep you posted on this legal action.


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