If the accident wasn’t my fault, why does my insurance have to pay? Why am I responsible? We hear this all the time when clients first come to our office. The simple answer is yes; you should give the hospital your health insurance information. It benefits you to file your health insurance for several reasons. First of all, even if the hospital says they will file the at-fault-drivers car insurance, you still are the responsible party on that bill. There is also a common misconception that car insurances will pay the bills as you get treatment. This is simply not the case. The hospital or doctors offices are merely just waiting to get paid out of YOUR settlement, and until there’s a settlement, they come knocking at your door for the payment. Because people involved in serious accidents may end up receiving treatment for months or years, these bills can languish and sometimes even go to collections. People often don’t even know the bills are owed or going to collections because they think the liability insurance pays immediately like health insurance. But that is not the case. You are the one responsible for those bills.
There are a few other reasons to make sure your providers have your health insurance information, beyond saving your credit. There are laws about how hospitals can bill people, for these laws to be used to your advantage by your attorney at the end of the case, it is very important that you do a good job documenting that you at least advised the hospital that you had health insurance. Even a simple note to yourself of when you gave them your health insurance information and who you spoke to. If possible, even encourage them to make a copy of your card and document if they refuse. This is helpful regardless of the type of insurance you have, private, Medicare or Medicaid.
A third reason to make sure to give providers your health insurance card is because the adjusters want you to. If you give your health insurance information to the medical providers, your health insurance will pay a lower amount than is charged in other situations because they have agreements with providers to cut down the costs. This, in turn, saves money for the insurance company when calculating your medical costs. Adjusters will claim you have not “mitigated” your damages, meaning you have not done your best to cut down the medical treatment costs, and will then try and pay a smaller amount on a bill, even though, you of course still owe the WHOLE bill. In these instances, it is very helpful for your attorney to have documentation of who you tried to give your health insurance information to. It comes down to the simple fact that hospitals think they will get paid more by the car insurance company rather than your health insurance. Don’t let them bully you, push them to file your health insurance. How to best handle all your medical bills from a car wreck is very complex, but a skilled attorney can help you navigate these complicated issues. Please call us today if you have any questions. There is no fee to discuss your injury case.