How will this affect my settlement?

Asked over 1 year ago - Schererville, IN

I was in an auto accident a few months ago and the other driver was found to be at 100% at fault and cited accordingly. I do not have health insurance and my auto insurance did not include med pay. Right now I have a lawyer working my case. The hospital I went to sent me information about a program that will help pay up to 100% of my bill. If my bill is paid through this program how does this affect my settlement amount?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It won't have any affect on the amount of your settlement but it may affect the net amount you will receive. That will depend upon whether the program has a right of subrogation (you have to pay the money back if you get money as in a law suit). This is the same right a health insurer would have if it paid the bills. Probably the program administrator would be the best person to ask about the rules. Do tell your attorney.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr.... more
  2. Christopher David Wyant

    Contributor Level 9

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should consult your lawyer before deciding whether to participate in the hospital's bill pay program. The important consideration will be whether the hospital will expect reimbursement out of your settlement for the amount they write off of your bill.

    Chris Wyant Attorney at Law Brown Tompkins Lory & Mastrian 608 East Market Street Indianapolis, Indiana 46202... more
  3. Terrence Marc Rubino

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . i am not familiar with what program the hospital is talking about. it sounds like it might be a state program like hoosier helpers. your lawyer should look at it and advise you about it. your lawyer will know this that in indiana evidence of writeoffs on medical bills is now admissable. this could affect the amount of medical bills claimed but at least the bill will be paid. the hospital can also file a hospital lien for the unpaid balance. good luck.

  4. Daniel Nelson Deasy

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Isn't that truly a question best-answered by your own attorney. None of us want to second guess his or her advice to you!

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship.... more
  5. Matthew R. Kober

    Contributor Level 4

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This should not affect your settlement. This would be known as a collateral source and does not affect anything in your settlement. You should consult your attorney, I'm sure he/she would know this answer. If you can't get ahold of your attorney, you should consider hiring one that gives you more attention.

  6. Howard Robert Roitman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The collateral source rule, or collateral source doctrine, is an American case law evidentiary rule that prohibits the admission of evidence that a victim's damages were or will be compensated from some source other than the damages awarded against the Defendant. For example, in a personal injury action, evidence that the Plaintiff's medical bills were paid by medical insurance, or by Workers' Compensation, is not generally admissible.

    The collateral source doctrine has come under attack by "tort reform" advocates. They argue that if the Plaintiff's injuries and damages have already been compensated, it is unfair and duplicative to allow an award of damages against the tortfeasor. As a result numerous states have altered or partially abrogated the rule by statute.
    Discounts for Uninsured Patients Who Cannot Afford to Pay Their Hospital Bills
    No OIG authority prohibits or restricts hospitals film offering discounts to uninsured patients
    Who are unable to pay their hospital bills? It has been suggested that two laws enforced by the
    OIG may prevent hospitals film offering discounted prices to uninsured patients. We disagree
    And address each law in turn.
    The Federal Anti-Kickback Statute.' The Federal anti-kickback statute
    Prohibits a hospital from giving or receiving anything of value in exchange for
    Referrals of business payable by a Federal health care program, such as Medicare
    Or Medicaid. The Federal anti-kickback statute does not prohibit discounts to
    Uninsured patients who are unable to vary their hospital bills. However, the
    discounts may not be linked in any manner to the generation of business payable
    by a Federal health care program. Discounts offered to underinsured patients
    Potentially raise a more significant concern under the anti-kickback statute, and
    Hospitals should exercise care to ensure that such discounts are not tied directly or
    Indirectly to the furnishmg of items or services payable by a Federal health care
    Program. As discussed below, the statute and regulations offer means to reduce or
    Waive coinsurance and deductible amounts to provide assistance to underinsured
    Patients with reasonably verified financial need.
    Section 1128@)(6)(A) of the Social Security Act.' This law permits -but does
    Not require -the OIG to exclude from participation in the Federal health care
    '42 U.S.C. 5 1320a-7b(b).
    '42 U.S.C. 5 1320a-7(b)(6)(A).
    Programs any provider or supplier that submits bills or requests for payment to
    Medicare or Medicaid for amounts that are substantially more than the provider's
    or supplier's usual charges. The statute contains an exception for any situation in
    Which the Secretary finds "good cause" for the substantial difference. The statute
    is intended to protect the Medicare and Medicaid programs -and taxpayers -
    From providers and suppliers that routinely charge the programs substantially
    more than their other customers.
    The OIG has never excluded or attempted to exclude any provider or supplier for
    Offering discounts to uninsured or underinsured patients. However, to provide
    additional assurance to the industry, the OIG recently proposed regulations that
    would define key terms in the statute.~
    Among other things, the proposed
    regulations would make clear that free or substantially reduced charges to
    uninsured persons would not affect the calculation of a provider's or supplier's
    "usual" charges, as the term "usual charges" is used in the exclusion provision.
    The OIG is currently reviewing the public comments to the proposed regulations.
    Until such time as a final regulation is promulgated or the OIG indicates its
    Intention not to promulgate a final rule, it will continue to be the OIG's
    Enforcement policy that. When calculating their "usual charges" for purposes of
    Section 1128&) (6) (A), individuals and entities do not need to consider free or
    Substantially reduced charges to (I) uninsured patients or (ii) underinsured ~patients
    Who are self-paying patients for the items or services furnis

    The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing... more
  7. Jimmy C Chong

    Contributor Level 8

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It will not affect the settlement amount however you may have to reimburse all or a portion to the program. You should contact your attorney to get a better answer.

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