Recently, we wrote generally about the various sources available to pay your medical bills after a crash. Today we are going to take a deeper dive to talk about the role of health insurance and why we almost always recommend that you insist that your health care provider bill your health insurance carrier for any treatment provided as a result of a crash.
First, an important note. Sometimes, hospitals and other health care providers erroneously tell patients that they can’t bill a health insurance carrier (or Medicare or Medicaid) if the treatment arises from a crash where another person was at fault. That is categorically wrong. They can, and indeed in Virginia, they must bill your health insurance carrier, or Medicare or Medicaid if you ask them to do so – otherwise, they may risk losing any right to be paid for the treatment. Don’t let your health care provider tell you this.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE MY HEALTH INSURER PAY MY BILLS IF ANOTHER DRIVER IS AT FAULT?
The answer to that is that it is a benefit that you’ve either paid premiums for or that you’re entitled to. In a lot of cases, your health insurer will pay your bill and if you recover from the at-fault driver, you get to keep everything. Think of it this way. If you have a $5,000 medical bill and your health insurance company pays it, and then the other driver’s insurance company pays you, say, $15,000 for all of your injuries, you won’t have to take $5,000 out of that settlement to pay your medical bills.
There are some cases where a third party payer (Medicaid, Medicare and most ERISA (self-insured) plans) can require repayment of medical expenses they paid after you settle your case, but it is still almost always advantageous to have them initially pay your bills anyway. By doing so, you will be paying them less than you would have had to pay the health care provider. This is because of the discounts these plans require your provider to accept as payment in full for your medical bills.
Last, but not least, we recommend submitting those bills for payment by your health insurance provider because it’s going to give you peace of mind. Those bills will be paid and you won’t be receiving bills, collection notices and dunning letters from your health care providers or collection agencies while your claim is being handled or while you’re getting well. The insurance companies for at-fault drivers typically are not going to pay any of your medical bills until you’re ready to make a final settlement with them. That is something you should never rush into.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP.
If you need help with your insurance or auto accident claim, our attorneys are here for you. Our team has secured compensation for many other people in the past, and we may be able to do the same for you. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm with your case right away.
If you or a loved one is ever involved in a cash, our lawyers at Obenshain Law Group can help you receive the settlement you deserve.Give us a call at 540-318-7360 or fill out an online contact form.