Should I Use My Health Insurance After a Charlotte Car Accident?

Should I Use My Health Insurance After a Car Accident?We get a lot of questions from prospective clients after an accident. One of the most common is, “Should I use my health insurance after I’m injured in an accident?” The short answer is “yes, yes you should.”  While it might not seem fair to have to use your own health insurance after a car accident caused by another person, you should always use it when being treated for an accident-related injury.

Here’s why:

There may be a dispute over who’s at fault

After your accident, it may be clear to you that the other person was at fault. However, you never know if there will be a dispute over who actually caused the accident – in fact, these types of disputes are pretty common. The majority of your medical treatment will take place right after the accident, so you should never assume how much motor vehicle insurance is available to you. Using your personal health insurance helps ensure your bills get paid immediately.

The other driver could be uninsured

Your accident may have been caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, even if the police report shows the other driver has insurance. Sometimes these policies have lapsed or expired, so it’s important not to rely on information provided to police at the accident scene. You don’t know if they have enough insurance to cover your injuries – even if the other person was clearly at fault. So, use your personal health insurance to eliminate the question.

Health insurance companies pay discounted rates

Virtually all health insurers have contracts with medical providers that allow them to pay a reduced rate for your medical treatment. This is called a “contract rate.” It’s in your best interest to let your health insurance pay your medical bills at this discounted rate, as opposed to the other driver’s insurance company. When it comes time for your settlement, you will have less to pay back to the hospital or urgent care center – putting more money in your pocket when your claim is finished.

You can negotiate with your health insurer

You do have a legal obligation to pay your health insurance back, as it’s part of your contracted agreement. However, there are benefits under the law that can allow you to negotiate down what you potentially owe to your health insurance company. So, it’s typically in your best interests to negotiate the reimbursement owed to your health insurance company.

What if I’m injured in a car accident and I don’t have health insurance?

Never delay getting medical treatment after a car accident, even if you don’t have health insurance. Hospitals and other care providers are usually legally required to present options to uninsured patients. These can include interest-free payment plans or discounted charges for treatment. With car accidents, sometimes healthcare providers will treat you now and postpone getting paid until your car insurance claim or lawsuit is resolved. This type of arrangement is called a “medical lien.”

What is a medical lien?

A medical lien is a legal claim that a healthcare provider or facility can place on a patient’s settlement or judgment in a personal injury lawsuit. It means that the healthcare provider has the right to be paid for the medical services they provided to the patient out of any money the patient receives from the lawsuit. Essentially, it ensures that medical providers get compensated for the care they gave, especially in cases where the patient may not be able to pay upfront for their treatment.

Will I need to pay out of pocket?

It all depends on your insurance plan, but chances are you’ll have to pay a deductible and/or some co-pays if you use your health insurance to cover treatment for injuries from a car accident. This means you might have to pay a certain amount upfront before your insurance kicks in, or you might have to pay a portion of the costs for each visit or treatment.

If you don’t have health insurance or car insurance, don’t worry. You should still seek medical attention after a car accident. Remember, healthcare providers are required by law to work with you on a payment plan, and they might offer reduced rates. Also, if you talk to a car accident attorney soon after your crash, they might connect you with healthcare providers who will agree to be paid from any settlement you receive.

Do you have other questions about what to do after a car accident? Talk to the Charlotte car accident attorneys at Price, Petho & Associates today. We have answers. Simply call our offices or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Charlotte, Rockingham, and Rutherfordton for your convenience.