Your bills may be covered by medical payments coverage. Even if you don’t have medpay, it’s still probably possible to work out a way to make your doctor happy.
Like you, I was raised to keep my credit record clean. There’s nothing I hate more than getting bills, especially when I had nothing to do with causing them.
There may be a couple things you can do. First, there is a good chance you have medical payments (medpay) insurance, which most auto insurers will offer with your auto coverage.
Medpay – if you have it – provides between $1,000 and $10,000 in coverage per person for injuries sustained in auto accidents. I have seen limits as high as $25,000.00. Most Ohio auto policies I have seen carry medpay, but it is not required.
The important thing about medpay is this – if the policy does not require direct payment to the doctor, you can send in your bills, request payment to yourself, and then use the money to pay the copays and deductibles.
Let’s say you have $2,000 in medical bills from an emergency room. You can submit them to both your health insurance company and – under your medical payments coverage – to your auto insurance company under the medpay coverage.
The health insurance may have a $300 copay and a $50 deductible, and pay at a 40% discount to the hospital. All this means the health insurance company pays $850 on the bill, and you still owe $350 on the bill.
But your medpay may be obligated to pay you directly up to the full amount of the bills – $2,000.00. If so, you can take the $2,000.00 from the medpay and use it to apply to all the uncovered portions of your medical bills – or anything else you want.
There are disadvantages to using this coverage. Whenever your insurance company gives you money for any reason, you have to give it back when your claim against the other driver is settled. This is called subrogation.
In the example I just used, when your case settles, your health insurance company will want its $850 back, and your auto insurance medpay will want its $2,000 back, all when the case settles. But you will be able to pay them back out of your settlement.
Medpay isn’t the only way to address this problem. Almost all doctors, hospitals and therapists will wait for full payment until the end of the case, so long as health insurance is available to pay for most of the bill.
And they will often agree to take installment payments. I have never seen a doctor sue one of my clients for his bill, and I have almost always been able to reach an agreement with the doctor or hospital at the end of the case.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. I always try to figure out how to solve my client’s problems. If you want to talk about your medical bills, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer – call me 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.