You may be due a hospital refund you never knew about — and that’s one more reason to check the state’s FLTreasureHunt.org website, also known as the unclaimed property database.
At least one area hospital is realizing it owes refunds to patients sometimes dating back a couple of years, and says it is trying its best to contact them. But if you’ve changed addresses, you may need to check with the state site.
A West Palm Beach reader got a notice in July for a hospital refund from 2014 for nearly $250 from Bethesda Health, which operates Bethesda Hospital East and West in Boynton Beach.
“If no response is received all monies will be sent to the state,” the letter says.
A Bethesda official said the refund relates to an insurance deductible that patients may have been required to pay at the hospital, but in some cases the deductible was refundable if the patient was admitted as opposed to being placed under observation. The official declined to say how many patients are involved, or how much money.
But it’s one more reason to check the state site. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater says more than $1 billion (with a B) has been returned to consumers in the last five years. It’s the landing spot for utility deposits people forgot about, or life insurance policies where they might not know a relative named them as a beneficiary, or jewelry and valuables from an abandoned safe deposit box.
“Life gets busy — we move, we change jobs, etc. — and it’s easy to forget to file a forwarding address or to forget to call the utility company about getting the deposit back,” Atwater said in a recent newsletter. “Unclaimed property comes in many forms, from insurance and stock accounts to savings bonds and savings accounts.”
And apparently, hospital refunds.