DEAR SUN SPOTS: I love your column, very interesting and enjoyable to read. You have helped me in the past. I hope you can help me again.
I would like information on a company called ACS in Lewiston. I have been getting a notice at least once or twice a month stating that I owe $30 to a doctor since August 2010. No other information is listed.
I did have a surgery at Central Maine Medical Center in January 2010. I do have insurance. What they didn’t pay, I paid by check. I have paid all my bills from February to April 2010 in full. I have kept copies of every check and bill I paid in full. I have even gotten a 10 percent discount because I paid on time.
When I call ACS, I have been left on hold. I have sent them copies of all my bills paid in full and checks. But they keep sending me notices of $30 due. I have called CMMC and my doctors. They say I don’t owe them anything. I’m all paid up. Help. I’m at my wit’s end.
I just would like to know what ACS is. If any other reader has had trouble with them. Thanks for any help you can give. — Alice, West Bowdoin
ANSWER: After several attempts to get through to someone, Sun Spots spoke to Kevin at Affiliated Computer Services. Kevin said ACS is a call center providing services to a number of industries, and, according to the ACS website, it is owned by Xerox. Kevin said he knew of no reason that his company would be sending you collection notices for a medical bill.
However, Kevin might not be fully informed, as Sun Spots did find some mention of ACS and medical billing online. She e-mailed the media contact for ACS in Texas (Xerox headquarters) but received no response. There are also at least two other ACS medical billing companies appearing online, but one is in Illinois, the other in Louisiana.
You did not send Sun Spots any of the bills, so it's difficult to know who or what might be behind the bills. If you send Sun Spots a copy of one of the actual bills, she will look into it further for you.
Try not to worry too much about this bill. An overdue medical bill of $30 would have little effect on your credit rating. It is more important that you know what you are actually paying for.
If you, or others, are concerned about a similar situation, you can check your credit report once a year for free. To order, visit annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Warning: Companies have set up other websites (for example, www.freecreditreport.com) that are not actually free.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Would you let everyone know that there will be an indoor yard and craft sale at Holy Trinity Church on Frost Hill Avenue in Lisbon Falls on Friday, April 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday, April 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Table rentals for a six-foot table are $10 for one day or $15 for two days. An eight-foot table is $15 for one day or $20 for two days.
Lunch will be available. Call Pat Tardiff at 353-5035 or Katie Carville at 355-9056 for more information. Thank you. — P. Tardiff, Lisbon Falls
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I work with teens at Spurwink Services. I have a teen who is trying to learn to play the guitar on borrowed instruments. I am wondering if there is someone in the community who has a good guitar in their home that is lying around unused who would be willing to donate the instrument to a good cause or accept a small price ($25). We could provide a receipt for tax deduction. Thanks for any consideration — Donna McCobb, 754-7896, email@example.com
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