As if there are not enough good reasons to carry health insurance, getting into an accident may be one of the biggest. If you are hurt in a car accident, slip and fall injury, or any other type of injury involving negligence, then you really need to make sure you carry health coverage. A lot of people think that their auto insurance will take care of everything, but this isn’t exactly true in all cases. It’s largely up to your medical providers whether to bill your health insurance or not.
At Jerome, Lindsay & Salmi, LLP, we are highly focused on achieving maximum compensation for each and every client. Ultimately, no matter who your lawyer is, there are things you can do right now to help you in the event you are ever injured by someone else. Here are 3 important reasons why health insurance can help you a lot after an injury.
#1 – You Need Medical Care
Just because you have car insurance does not mean providers will want to wait around to be paid. Although hospitals are required to treat patients who present to the emergency room, private physicians are not always bound by these rules. So, if you need surgery or long-term rehab because of serious injuries, you might find out that your $25,000 or $50,000 auto insurance policy is not enough to get highly-trained specialists to provide the care you need. Instead, these providers may decline you. Having health insurance provides a level or assurance so that doctors will be more inclined to take you as a patient. Of course, even without health insurance, our office can generally help you find providers who will offer care, but the options may be a bit more limited.
#2 – You Generally Keep More Money
It’s true. Under the Illinois Health Care Services Lien Act, hospitals and other medical providers have a right to place a lien on your case. This means your attorney must make sure to protect their right to payment. If you are not represented by an attorney, the insurance carrier will pay these providers out of your settlement, often leaving you with very little money – even for really bad injuries. But if your providers see that you have good health insurance and they choose to bill your insurance, you may be able to keep more of your money, due to contractual reductions and adjustments that your health coverage has with the provider. If your health coverage pays for care, you’ll usually need to pay them back. However, this is still often much less than you would pay for the full price of care.
#3 – More Options
As alluded to above, when you have health insurance, you generally have a broader range of treatment options. Many surgeries cost well over six figures. Therefore, unless you are fortunate enough to be struck by a driver who carries a large insurance policy (or you carry significant underinsured motorist insurance), chances are pretty good that you might end up undercompensated.
Using Health Insurance To Your Benefit
After a car accident or other type of negligence, you need to work closely with a trained professional who can help you navigate the many insurance regulations and healthcare laws that may give you options for improving compensation. Simple mistakes regarding health coverage and liens can have an enormous impact on your overall outcome.
Call (618) 726-2222, or visit Jerome, Lindsay & Salmi, LLP online to schedule a free consultation with one of our Illinois and Missouri auto accident attorneys today.
by JAYE R. LINDSAY
One part combat veteran, one part former firefighter/EMT and truck driver, and 100% devoted to helping clients achieve the results they desire.
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