How to Keep Medical Bills Out of Collections After an Accident?
Here is what you need to know to avoid being turned over to collections after an accident. First, coordinating between insurance companies and healthcare providers can be an overwhelming task, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process.
The bottom line: If bills don’t get submitted correctly, to the right insurance company, and paid on time, you can be turned over to collections or worse. Ultimately, it is the patient’s responsibility to make sure these bills are submitted and paid on time and a competent personal injury lawyer can help you with this.
Our clients are often surprised and frustrated when an insurance company refuses to cover medical bills that arise from a car wreck or other accident, but there is an explanation.
Health insurance companies don’t always pay, because an accident may have been caused by someone else who has insurance coverage for it. And that person may dispute fault. In other words, it is not always your health insurance company’s responsibility to pay first and sorting out who is responsible is what lawyers are here for.
Most health insurance companies will have these requirements buried in their policy somewhere and are simply trying to make sure the responsible parties pay for the care, but they often do a poor job explaining this to their policy holders and things can fall through the cracks.
An example of this is after a car wreck, where the victim will have numerous bills from different health care providers that must make it to the “right” insurance company on time, to be paid on time.
After a car wreck, the providers you may receive bills from could include the following:
- Emergency Room Doctors
- Main Hospital
- Physical Therapist
The different insurance companies you may have to coordinate with include the following:
- Your health insurance
- Your auto insurance (even if the accident was not your fault)
- The at-fault party’s insurance.
- Third Party Insurance
- Umbrella Policy
One of the problems we see is when a billing or coding mistake is made and everyone believes the bills have been submitted correctly and on time, but they haven’t. This catches everyone off guard and if it is discovered after a deadline in the applicable policy, the insurance company may refuse to pay it.
Another big problem we see is when providers and insurance companies can’t agree on who owes the bill and how much is to be paid. This causes the patient to lose valuable time and things can fall through the cracks, leaving the patient holding the bag.
If you are in an accident involving insurance, it is important to understand these issues or get help from a competent personal injury attorney.
We provide Free Initial Consultations to help you get answers to your questions and decide whether or not you need to hire a lawyer. There is never a fee unless we win or settle your injury claim.