CHARLESTON - Health care providers taking collection action on unpaid medical bills from Mississippi County employees and officers due to the financial collapse of a former insurance provider have received some advice: Be patient - or else.
At their regular Thursday session, Mississippi County commissioners discussed a notice dated June 5, 2002, instructing providers of medical services to file claims for unpaid invoices and cease collection efforts.
The notice, signed by Robert Loiseau, special deputy receiver of insolvent or unauthorized insurance companies for the state of Texas, advised providers "that a standstill on your part with respect to collection efforts and adverse credit reporting is in order."
Enrollees in the insurance program "were victims of an illegal and unauthorized health insurance scheme that was marketed to innocent parties in more than 40 states," according to Loiseau's notice.
The notice warns that some states have laws governing collection activities under these circumstances that could put creditors on "the receiving end of lawsuit or administrative proceeding" that could end up costing them more in legal fees and settlement expenses than the debt they are trying to collect.
Loiseau also warns in the notice that any debt assigned to a collection agency will be deducted from their claim.
The entire document is available on the Internet by visiting www.texasreceiver.com.
In other business discussed during Thursday's county commission meeting:
* The Missouri Department of Natural Resources advised the county it is not eligible to participate in DNR's remonumentation program as the county does not have its own county engineer.
Commissioners had contacted DNR officials to see if the county would be eligible for the program using New Madrid County's county engineer.
* Bruce Austin requested a reappointment to the county library board, according to commissioners.
Commissioners tabled their decision on the appointment until next week as Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg was not at the meeting.
* Commissioners have contacted the conservation department and requested they determine the value of the timber at the old county landfill located near Scott City.
Homer Oliver, commissioners, said the department offers the appraisals as a service.