After an accident, you begin to face some questions from insurance companies and medical providers. Things can get overwhelming and cause a great deal of confusion for you and sometimes your family members. One of the most critical questions we get asked is about health insurance and how your medical bills should be dealt with.
Once you begin receiving treatment for your injuries, your medical providers are going to ask you to fill out forms about your injuries. One of the questions they ask you is if you received the injuries in the accident and what is the claim number from the insurance company that will be paying your bills. In these instances, we always suggest that you use your health insurance first (If you are lucky to have it).
Why do I have to use my health insurance when it wasn’t my fault?
The answer to this question is not so easy. The first and foremost reason to use your health insurance when receiving treatment for an accident is to ensure that your provider gets paid. Your accident claim can take months, sometimes even a few years to get settled and there are limitations on how long after treatment a provider can bill your insurance. We want to make sure that the doctor who treats you gets paid quickly and fairly. That may mean using your health insurance as they will process the claim right away and collect from the responsible auto insurance company at a later time.
Another important reason to have your health insurance process your treatment claims is that you want a payment to be made to your provider, so they do not send the bills to collections while you wait for your claim to settle. One of the first letters our office sends out when you become our client is one requesting that your health insurance is billed for medical services that you have received due to the accident.
When will the auto insurance pay my medical bills?
Focus on your recovery and then focus on your claim.
After you have fully recovered from your injuries (or when you get as close to fully recovering as possible), you should begin to pursue your accident claim fully. Keep in mind that there is a general two-year statute of limitation on your auto accident claim.
I received a letter from my health insurance company about my auto accident. What does it mean?
As we stated earlier, you should have your health insurance pay your medical bills. Depending on your health policy, they may want to be reimbursed for their expenses. In other words, they will want a portion of your settlement to make up for what they paid out for your injuries.
When your health insurance pays your medical bills first, you may benefit in a few ways. First, the health insurer gets a discounted rate from the provider based on the contracts they have. This will automatically reduce the amount you will have to pay in the long run for your injuries. Secondly, you benefitted from keeping your finances in order while your claim played out. Your health insurance paid your medical bills keeping your providers happy while protecting your credit rating. More importantly, not all health insurance policies ask to be reimbursed, and so that will directly increase the amount you collect at the end of your claim.
I still do not understand why my health insurance company should be involved?
If you have additional questions about your health insurance and how it can be used to your benefit during your accident claim, reach out to an attorney that can get answers. We have some resources that can assist you including our Medical Bills Checklist.