After an accident, doctors and health care providers that provide treatment for you will be expecting a pay check. You certainly don't want your medical bills being sent to collections and damaging your credit. So here are a few options you should consider to prevent this from happening.
Consider sending your bills to your health insurance company. They will most likely charge you the lowest rate by the health care providers. In most cases, they probably have a "negotiated" rate with the provider. However, the insurance company for the responsible party will use this lower amount (that was accepted as payment in full) in an effort to minimize your accident. In other words, if you were charged $2500 by a hospital, the hospital might accept $500 as payment in full. The insurance company will use this lowered amount of $500 and try to paint your accident as "minor". After all, $500 in damage sounds less dramatic than $2500 in damage. So while your bills are indeed paid, they will use the lowered amount against you.
If you do not submit your bills to the health care insurance company, you typically end up paying what’s called the “list price” for health care. As we know, hospitals and doctors can charge outrageous prices, so you don't necessarily want to get stuck with those figures.
Make sure you discuss your options for payment with an experienced lawyer. In some cases, going through your own health insurance company is a good idea. In other cases, it may not be the best route to take. There are other options in many cases.
If you had an accident, call our office at (661) 414-7100 for a free consultation. We can also tell you about the pros and cons of billing your health insurance company versus pursuing other payment options.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,