WHO SHOULD PAY MY MEDICAL BILLS
Clients often wonder why they or their health insurance company should be responsible for paying the medical bills they incurred due to the negligence of someone else while their claim is being processed. And it is a valid question, as the person responsible for causing you injury should ultimately be responsible for paying your medical bills caused by their negligent conduct.
But, the injured party has the burden of proving that the injuries sustained and the resulting medical treatment and bills were caused by the negligent conduct of another. And sometimes, this can take several months to several years to prove, for many reasons, including prolonged treatment of the injuries, a dispute over who is at fault for the incident and injuries, and a dispute over whether the injuries were due to the accident or a pre-existing condition.
Unfortunately, medical providers are not willing to wait months or years to be paid for the services they already provided. They want to be paid upon rendering the services, and rightfully so. So what should a client do to make sure there medical bills are timely paid and avoid them being turned over to collection?
- Give your health insurance information to all your providers, including the hospitals, as soon as possible, and demand they bill your health insurance. Not only will the bill be paid in a timely manner by your health insurance company, but you will get the negotiated reduction in price for the service that your insurance company and doctors have agreed to. This is why you pay premiums for health insurance.
- If any of your providers refuse to bill your health insurance, take your business elsewhere. They are trying to receive more than they are entitled to for their services as they contractually agreed to with your health insurance company.
- DO NOT give any other insurance information to your medical providers, such as your automobile insurance information or the other party’s insurance information. Again, the medical providers are simply trying to get more than they are entitled to
- If you are injured in an automobile accident, trucking accident, or motorcycle accident, your own automobile insurance may provide you with medical payments coverage. If you have this coverage, DO NOT give that information to your medical providers. This money is meant to reimburse you for any out-of-pocket medical expenses that you may incur, such as co-pays and deductibles. Make sure your health insurance first pays its portion of any bill, and then any out-of-pocket portion you still owe should be submitted to your automobile insurer by YOU. Make sure you tell your automobile insurer, IN WRITING, that they should not pay any medical bills unless the bills are submitted directly by you.
- If you have out-of-pocket expenses that you have to pay, keep a copy of all receipts or canceled checks evidencing your payment of those bills, so you can be reimbursed during the handling of your claim.
- If you cannot afford to pay all your out-of-pocket expenses at once, speak with the providers, and try to work out some type of payment plan that is manageable for you. If you simply ignore the bills, they may be turned over to collections, which can result in negative consequences for you. Again, keep copies of all records of payments you make so you can be reimbursed.
Ultimately, the person at fault for your injuries and the resulting medical treatment is responsible for compensating you for the medical bills you have incurred. But, they do not have to pay the bills as they are incurred, and can wait until you complete treatment to fully evaluate your case and make you an offer, which can take months or years. Most of your medical providers will not be willing to wait this long to be paid. Make sure all your providers bill your health insurance immediately, to ensure that your medical bills are timely paid. You pay the premiums for health insurance, and you should demand that it be used when you need it most.
If you or a loved one has been injured or died in a car accident, trucking accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall, or due to medical error or nursing home negligence, contact us at 419-241-5500 or email us. We are happy to speak with you and discuss your case with you. We have helped thousands of Ohioans get the restitution they deserve with our 40+ years of experience helping injured victims in Ohio achieve great results.
The information contained in this blog post is general information, and should not be treated as legal advice. No attorney/client relationship exists between the reader and Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC without a signed Attorney Contract Agreement of Representation. Each case is unique and past results should not be treated as a guarantee of the results in your case.