Kaiser Uses Strongarm Tactics to Collect Debt, Says Medi-Cal Patient
SAN DIEGO (CN) - A man claims a collections agency working for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan violated debt collection laws in attempting to force him to pay a bill he doesn't owe - because he's on Medi-Cal.
Farid Mashiri says in his San Diego County complaint that he receives chemotherapy and other treatment for stomach cancer from Kaiser hospitals, covered by Medi-Cal since he lost his job in 2009. The stage IV cancer left Mashiri permanently disabled and unable to care for himself.
Despite giving Kaiser his Medi-Cal card and number, Kaiser sent Mashiri several letters in an attempt to collect $17,282 for cancer treatment services. Mashiri says he informed Kaiser each time that he had state coverage.
According to the complaint, Kaiser sent him to collections, and co-defendant Collection Consultants of California began harassing him for $19,680. Mashiri turned over the collections demands to his attorney, Bashir Ghazialam of San Diego, who disputed the debt and asked for verification, demanding that all future correspondence be sent to the attorney.
To date, no verification of the debt has been received from Collection Consultants of California or Kaiser, in violation of state and federal law.
Mashiri seeks damages and a permanent injunction against both Kaiser and the collections agency.