You can probably make some money if you submit a claim for the medpay coverage; but you should talk with your lawyer.
If you need it to get treated, you can tell your car insurance company to pay your medpay money to your doctor directly. But if you want to get the most bang for your buck, sit on it and don’t spend it, and use it to pay down your bills when the lawsuit settles.
Medpay is coverage that, if you have it, comes with your car insurance policy. It gives you a certain amount of money – as little as $1,000, but maybe as much as $25,000 – to pay medical bills caused by the accident after treatment occurs.
You turn the bill over to the insurance company, and once the insurance company is satisfied that the bill was necessitated by the accident, the company pays the money to you, or the doctor, or your lawyer.
It comes with a catch – when your case settles, your car insurance company is entitled to get the money back from you. (This is called subrogation.)
Most people want to spend the medpay money for their personal needs or living expenses as soon as they can get their hands on it. That is fine – it is their money, and they need it – but they will have to pay it back when they settle their case.
Some people who don’t have medical insurance want to use their Medpay to pay their doctor bills. That is fine – but you can usually pay off the medical bills for a discount when you settle the rest of the case. So if your car insurance company is paying off your doctor dollar for dollar, you are losing an opportunity to get the most money you can.
If your employer pays for medical insurance, it makes sense to have that insurance pay for your medical bills – the medical insurance company always gets a discount. And virtually every insurance company will settle its claim for a fraction of what it is owed.
Here is an example. You have $5,000 in medpay coverage from Hamilton County Insurance Company (I made up the name), your car insurance company. You also have employer provided health insurance with Anthem.
You have an accident, and the doctors and hospitals submit $10,000 in bills to Anthem, the employer provided health insurer, which pays $4,000 to cover the bills in full. Anthem is now entitled to $4,000.00 when you settle the case.
But you also submit your medical bills to Hamilton County Insurance Company, and ask them to pay you directly. Hamilton County Insurance Company pays you $5,000.00 – which you take, and, after negotiation, Anthem agrees to accept $2,800.00 in satisfaction of its claim against you for $4,000.00.
And at the end of the case, Hamilton County Insurance company agrees to take $ 3,500.00 to pay off its claim of $5,000.00 against you.
So: you get $5,000 from Hamilton County Insurance , and $4,000 from Anthem toward payment of your bills. Out of your settlement, you pay Anthem back $2,800, and you pay back $3,500 to Hamilton County. Net: you got $9,000, and paid out $6,300.00. Plus, you get whatever else you recover out of your settlement after attorney fees.
You can’t count on either Hamilton County Insurance or Anthem to discount their payments by 30%; but there is usually some kind of discount.
And you also get whatever the other driver’s insurance company is willing to pay you to settle your case, after attorney fees.
And Hamiton County Insurance and Anthem are both happy.
Pretty good deal – financially.
Lawyers don’t agree on whether to use Medpay. It gets you money fast and interest free, but it also creates a debt; and my experience is that the Medpay insurers don’t discount their claims as readily as health insurers like Anthem or Humana do.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. Whether you want to use Medpay is your decision – not your lawyer’s. If you have a personal injury case in Cincinnati, Ohio or if you want to know what your lawsuit is worth, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Injury Attorney about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.