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Old 29.01.2018, 12:34
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Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

Hello,
I received a dentist bill for an appointment 5 years ago. My husband takes care of all the bills so I didn't notice. Is there time limit to when a bill must be sent within?
Thanks for your advise.
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Old 29.01.2018, 12:41
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Hello,
I received a dentist bill for an appointment 5 years ago. My husband takes care of all the bills so I didn't notice. Is there time limit to when a bill must be sent within?
Thanks for your advise.
There's a legal side to this question, and a moral/ethical side.

Did you receive the services from the dentist? If so, pay the bill and thank him/her for the free use of his/her money for five years.
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Old 29.01.2018, 12:42
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Hello,
I received a dentist bill for an appointment 5 years ago. My husband takes care of all the bills so I didn't notice. Is there time limit to when a bill must be sent within?
Thanks for your advise.
How do you know your husband didn't miss the previously sent bills? Have you called the dentist to check when they sent out the previous notifications?

If they did previously send out a notification and no further interert or additional charges have been added then consider yourself lucky and just pay what you owe for the work that was performed.

Unless of course you think it is fair and reasonable that you don't pay money that you owe? That was a rhetorical question, by the way.
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Old 29.01.2018, 12:43
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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There's a legal side to this question, and a moral/ethical side.

Did you receive the services from the dentist? If so, pay the bill and thank him/her for the free use of his/her money for five years.
There‘s an uncooperative ex Husband and a now independent dependent wife side to the question too, perhaps.
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Old 29.01.2018, 12:44
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

i would pay and look for another dentist.
this one obviously earns too much money.
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Old 29.01.2018, 14:04
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

Debt claims expire after 5 years, so you can throw that bill into trash

Edit: OK, maybe it's not exactly debt, but OR still got you covered here: Art. 128 OR says specifically that doctor bills expire after 5 years

Last edited by ivank; 29.01.2018 at 14:41.
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Old 29.01.2018, 14:05
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Debt claims expire after 5 years, so it's free
Only if it's the first time the bill has been sent.

Tom
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Old 29.01.2018, 14:12
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Only if it's the first time the bill has been sent.
If that were true everyone would be claiming this is the first time they're sending you this bill

I think debt here was established once the dentist did his job, so 5 years are counted from that moment. Unless maybe the contract had some special payments terms
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Old 29.01.2018, 14:41
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Debt claims expire after 5 years, so you can throw that bill into trash

Edit: OK, maybe it's not exactly debt, but OR still got you covered here: Art. 128 OR says specifically doctor bill expire after 5 years
Can you link to the law for this? I couldn't find it with a Google.
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Old 29.01.2018, 14:44
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Can you link to the law for this? I couldn't find it with a Google.
Art. 128 OR

OR == ObligationenRecht == Code of Obligations.

Here a link to the relevant article in English (only DE, FR, and IT versions are official):
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a128
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Old 29.01.2018, 15:04
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Art. 128 OR

OR == ObligationenRecht == Code of Obligations.

Here a link to the relevant article in English (only DE, FR, and IT versions are official):
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a128
"The limitation period commences as soon as the debt is due."

Alas, the debt is normally due a month or more after the treatment, so if it's five years from then, it's actually five years plus several months from the actual treatment.

Tom
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Old 30.01.2018, 23:59
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Hello,
I received a dentist bill for an appointment 5 years ago. My husband takes care of all the bills so I didn't notice. Is there time limit to when a bill must be sent within?
Thanks for your advise.
Dear OP,

We are not lawyers, but we are dentists and your note seemed too curious to pass without finding some answers. Based on what our attorney tells us, here is what article 127 and 128 stipulate:

1) for dental services, there is a 5-year look-back period from the date the invoice is issued. I.e. if the invoice was issued on January 10, 2018 then the dentist can only issue you an invoice for treatments done on or after January 10, 2013. Things get murkier if these were a series of visits that were part of the same treatment - for that please turn to an attorney for more authoritative guidance. Btw, we dentists get shafted with a 5-year look-back - doctors get 10 years.

2) for dental services there is a 5-year look-forward period for any follow-ups (reminders or collections) from the date the invoice was issued. I.e. with an invoice from January 10, 2018 the dentist can pursue collections or send reminders until January 10, 2023. Again, doctors have a 10-year period.

It seems incredulous that an invoice will be issued 5 years after treatment.

Deniza
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Old 31.01.2018, 08:44
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Btw, we dentists get shafted with a 5-year look-back - doctors get 10 years.
Nope, debts from all types of medical treatments lapse after five years, including ordinary doctors'. The code of obligations says "medical treatment" in the (non-binding) English version, "ärztliche Besorgung" in the German version, there's no differentiation between the various types of "medicus". This guide by FMH, the Swiss doctor's association, issued for their members says the same.

Third party liabilities OTOH lapse after ten years, perhaps you mixed that up?

Sidenote:
The obligations by complementary insurance to pay lapses after two years. So if the doctor bills after two years the patient probably has to pay out of his/her own pocket even if the treatment is covered.

Last edited by Urs Max; 31.01.2018 at 08:58.
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Old 31.01.2018, 09:47
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Sidenote:
The obligations by complementary insurance to pay lapses after two years. So if the doctor bills after two years the patient probably has to pay out of his/her own pocket even if the treatment is covered.
Is that two years after the date of the treatment or two years after the invoice was issued?
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Old 31.01.2018, 12:26
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Re: Dentist bill received 5 years late- do I still need to pay it?

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Is that two years after the date of the treatment or two years after the invoice was issued?
IANAL.

With that said:
The monetary debt is created by the treatment, that should also be the date the countdown starts. This is supprted by the fact that you can be "betreiben" without a single bill, it's the debt itself that counts.
 

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