FAQ: I've been injured, how can I pay for my medical bills?
After you have been injured a huge question that may be pressing on your mind is, "How can I pay for my medical expenses?"
In this video Russ Hymas goes into your legal options after you have been injured in a car accident.
Who Will Pay My Medical Bills?
Hi, I’m Russ Hymas with the Christensen law firm. The purpose of this message is to address a question that is most frequently asked by our clients, and that is, “how will my medical bills be paid?” As you may know the first portion of your medical bills will actually be paid by your own insurance company. Each auto insurance company is required to carry personal injury protection, or PIP benefits. These benefits ensure that at least three thousand dollars is made available for payment of your medical expenses after an accident and ultimately your insurance will be reimbursed by the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident. Many people assume that once your PIP benefits have been exhausted that the insurance company of the at-fault driver will immediately step in and pay the remaining medical expenses. Unfortunately this is not the case. In Utah the at-fault insurance company is not required to pay any medical expenses until the time of settlement. So in this message, what we’ll try to do is to identify a few options that are available to clients for payment of medical expenses from the time that PIP benefits are exhausted until the time of settlement.
If you have health insurance coverage we strongly recommend that you submit your medical bills for payment through health insurance once your PIP benefits have been exhausted. This has the obvious advantage of getting your bills paid without having them go to collections or affecting your credit and of course your health insurance company is going to want to be reimbursed at the time of settlement, but in addition to getting your bills paid it also has another advantage. Health insurance companies often have contractual relationships with medical providers that allow them to pay a reduced amount for the entire bill. So if there is a thousand dollar bill they may only pay seven hundred and that extra three hundred would end up going to your portion of the settlement.
Liens and Monthly Payments:
The second option is to see if your medical provider will enter into a lean with our law firm. A lien is a binding written agreement where the medical provider agrees to wait until the time of settlement for payment. We agree that we’ll make sure that the medical provider is paid before any money is distributed to the client and you agree that you’ll pay the medical provider regardless of the outcome of the case. Many medical providers in the area are willing to work on a lien basis with our law firm. The third option is to either pay cash or pay minimum monthly payments toward your outstanding medical bills. Many medical providers will provide a significant discount if you pay cash upfront. If you cannot pay cash up front they will enter into agreements with you to make minimum monthly payments that will keep your account current and out of collections.
Liens in Collections: The final option is to allow your account to go to collections and then see if the collections agency is willing to work on a lien basis with our firm. Many times even where a medical provider is not willing to enter into a lien the collections agency for that medical provider will be willing to do so. Of course the downside in this situation is that your account has been sent to collections and may have an effect on your credit history.
Out of Pocket Reimbursement:
We understand that it can be extremely frustrating to have to pay any medical bills out of pocket for an accident that wasn’t even your fault, but please be assured that at the time of settlement we will make sure that any out of pocket expenses that you have incurred will be reimbursed. We hope that you found the information in this message useful. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office for additional information.