LOS ANGELES MEDICAL BILLS COMPENSATION LAWYER
If you have been injured in a car accident in Los Angeles, you will soon be getting medical bills—in some cases very large medical bills.
How do these medical bills get paid?
Whose insurance company is responsible for the bills?
If paid by a health insurance company, do I have to pay them back?
If paid by Medi-Cal or Medi-Care, what do I do then?
Regardless of whether you have insurance or not, the medical bills are first and foremost your responsibility. Therefore, if the bills are not getting paid promptly the hospital or doctor will be looking to you personally to make sure the bills get paid.
If they aren’t paid on time, the bills will be turned over to a collection agency, and your credit will be jeopardized. Even though an accident may be the fault of someone else, the doctors and hospital will not wait for you to settle your claim.
So what do you do in the meantime?
In auto accident cases where you have health insurance, that should be your primary source to pay bills. You should provide the hospital or doctor with all the necessary information to bill the health insurance carrier directly.
Some will not do so if there is an accident claim involved. The reason they do this is they hope to recover more from your accident settlement than they would get as payment in full from your health insurance. Legally they cannot do this. Insist they bill your health insurance. Any co-pays or deductibles remain your responsibility, so get those paid immediately.
Whether you have health insurance or not, most auto insurance policies have medical payments coverage (called “med-pay”). If your policy does not have it, you should get it immediately. This coverage will pay medical bills up to the stated amount of coverage regardless of whose fault the accident is.
In cases where you have health insurance, the med-pay coverage is excellent for covering your deductibles and co-pays. This way you have no money coming out of your pocket. In situations, where you have no health insurance, the med-pay will cover 100% of your medical bills regardless of fault.
Medi-Cal and Medi-Care will also provide coverage for accidents if you qualify. The problem with relying on these coverages is that many doctors will not take Medi-Cal and more and more and not accepting Medi-Care. However, if you don’t have health insurance or med-pay, these government programs can help pay bills if you qualify for them.
If you don’t have any type of coverage, the bill is your responsibility to get paid. The hospital or doctor won’t wait for you to settle your injury claim before sending the bill to collections. In these cases, it’s important to work with the billing department to let them know of your situation.
A good personal injury lawyer will do this for you. Often they will reduce the amount owed for uninsured parties, and/or will accept low monthly payments to show good faith until your insurance claim is settled.