How Are My Medical Bills Paid Back After an Accident?
If you are hurt in an accident, the idea of receiving damages for everything that you are going through certainly sounds appealing. However, you probably know that most cases can take time to settle or get to trial. This raises the very big question of how your medical bills will get paid while you are waiting for your case to resolve.
If you are in a car accident you are in a better position as far as medical bills because of personal injury protection insurance (PIP). This insurance will pay 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000 (minus any deductible).
The best thing about PIP is that it is “no fault,” so that even if the other driver’s insurance company disputes that they were negligent, you don’t have to wait for your medical bills to get paid while the parties are fighting about liability.
PIP will also pay 60% of lost wages, although that money comes out of the $10,000 total, so if at all possible it is often better to apply PIP to medical bills.
You can also opt for an insurance policy that provides for “medpay.” This insurance will often fill in what PIP doesn’t pay—for example, the amount of your deductible, or the 20% of medical bills that PIP does not pay.
Note that if you have PIP—as every driver is required to have—you cannot use private health insurance for the amounts that PIP is supposed to pay. You can use it for what PIP does not pay.
Injuries Sustained in Falls or Other Accidents
If you are not in a car accident, there are fewer options. One option is using a “letter of protection,” or LOP. This is a letter promising your doctor that you will pay your bill out of any settlement or verdict that you receive. The doctor will hold off on any collections activity long enough for your case to resolve. When it does resolve, you will have to pay back what you owe.
Private insurance can be used in non-car accident cases, but health insurance will want subrogation. This means that they will want to be paid back what they paid on your behalf to medical providers, if any when you recover any money.
Sometimes, you can negotiate with health insurance so that you do not pay back 100% of what it paid for you, but that is not a guarantee.
Medicare and Medicaid work much the same way as private insurance: they want to be paid back as well, although sometimes they too can be negotiated with.
Note that any party with a right of subrogation—health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare—must only be paid back if you win or settle your case.
Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Jacobs Legal today if you are injured in a slip and fall or a car accident. You may be entitled to damages from the negligent party.