Getting Your Medical Bills Paid After A Car Accident
If you’ve been hurt in a wreck, you’re probably seeing your mailbox filled with medical bills. You may wonder how on earth you will ever get your medical bills paid after a car accident. Some of you may be so worried about how you’re going to pay medical bills that you may not be going to the doctor as much as you need to. BUT, the most important thing you can do after a car accident is to get the medical treatment you need to heal. So, how will you get the medical treatment you need without going bankrupt in the process?
Will the Other Person’s Insurance Pay for My Medical Bills?
Now, you may be thinking that you can turn your medical bills into the other driver’s insurance company and get them paid. WRONG! However, you must remember that the insurance company is not interested in helping you out. In this case, they are not interested in paying your medical bills as they come due just to reduce your stress. What usually happens is the other driver’s insurance company will wait until you have finished going to the doctor before they will give you money for your medical bills. That reimbursement usually comes in the form of a settlement. It can sometimes take years to get to settlement of your case depending on the extent of your medical treatment.
Read more on this topic in our article “5 Ways Insurance Adjusters Reduce the Value of Your Claim“
Can I Use My Health Insurance?
First of all, if you’ve been injured in a wreck and you’re lucky enough to have health insurance, USE IT!!!!!!! Some hospitals and doctors offices may resist filing your health insurance. They may tell you that they won’t file health insurance in a car accident claim. But, if this happens, keep pushing them to submit their bills to your health insurance. Submitting the bills to health insurance will help the medical providers to get their bills paid and also keep the bill collectors off your back.
Despite the benefit of health insurance, some people don’t believe it’s fair to submit bills to their health insurance when their injuries were someone else’s fault. Let me ask you this . . . is your health insurance free? Or, do you or your employer pay a monthly premium for coverage? I don’t know of any free health insurance. We all pay a premium for our health insurance carriers to pay our medical bills. Since you’ve paid to have the coverage, use it!
Some health insurance companies require that you pay them back when your personal injury case gets settled. So why would you use your health insurance if you’re just going to have to pay them back? Using your health insurance will get your medical bills paid and will prevent calls from collection companies. It is better to get your bills paid even if you have to eventually pay your health insurance company back. Also, sometimes the health insurance company will reduce the amount it asks you to pay back. So, using your health insurance to pay your medical bills from the accident has many advantages.
Can I Use My Auto Insurance?
The answer is YES . . . maybe. If you have an extra coverage on your policy called “medical expenses payments” or “med-pay”, you can use your car insurance immediately to help pay for your medical bills. And, if you have more than one car on your auto policy and live in Virginia, you may have access to additional med-pay coverage.
How do I get my med-pay money?
So, you have med-pay coverage and you’ve decided to turn your auto accident medical bills into your own car insurance company. How do you go about doing this? After the accident happens, call your car insurance company and let them know you’ve been involved in an accident and you’ll be submitted bills for med-pay. You’ll want to get a claim number from them. Once you have the claim number, you can submit the bills with a letter referencing the claim number and asking for reimbursement.
********WARNING****************** — When you submit your medical bills to your insurance company, they will probably want you to sign a release so they can get the medical records that go with the bills. They will want to check the medical records with the bills you submitted to make sure the bills are really related to the accident. Here’s the tricky part. Our firm advises all of our clients NOT TO SIGN a release, even with their own insurance company. At the Ritchie Law Firm, we request and gather all of the medical records for our clients, so they never have to sign a blanket release with the insurance company. The danger in signing such a release is that you don’t have control over what records the insurance company gets or what is done with those records. But, if you are handling your case on your own, you may decide that signing the release is worth the risk.
Read more on this topic in our article “Common Insurance Adjuster Ploys.”
Any Other Ways To Get Bills Paid?
What happens if you absolutely need medical treatment after your accident but you don’t have health insurance, don’t have med-pay, and don’t have money to pay out-of-pocket? If your income is low enough, you may qualify at certain medical facilities for their sliding fee program, called “financial assistance” at many hospitals. This program is designed to allow those with lower incomes access to medical care at a reduced rate. Facilities such as the University of Virginia offer this service. Sometimes, it can take a while to be approved for reduced cost services, so start the process early if you are interested.
Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg, WV. For a free case evaluation, send us some info about your case by clicking here.