No Health Insurance? Tips For Getting Treatment After An Accident
First A Big Misconception
The driver that hit you’s insurance company will not pay your medical bills as you go through treatment. Even if the adjuster tells you they will. They won’t.
Auto insurance will only settle with you for one lump sum amount, if at all. This forces the injured to figure out how to obtain all the treatment needed to get better on their own. This task is easy if you have health insurance but is very difficult if you do not.
The reason it is this way is so the insurance company can hopefully get out of paying you a large sum for your injuries and pain and suffering. If you cannot get treatment, you do not have a case to pursue.
Here is an example of what we have heard has occurred to many of our clients before they hired us. The adjuster during the first phone call about the accident tells the client that the insurance company will put a pull of money in an account to pay for medical bills. Usually the number is just a few thousand dollars. The catch is in order to get the money for treatment the client has to settle for that amount of money right then. Before ever knowing what all of their injuries are.
How Can You Pay For Treatment Without Health Insurance?
There are actually several ways to receive treatment for your injuries even if you do not have health insurance. Keep in mind you only want to use these methods if you don’t have health insurance. Always use health insurance if you can to pay for your injury based medical treatment.
Med-Pay Coverage Through Auto Insurance
This is the easiest way to pay for medical treatment. The only downside is that usually there is not enough available to cover all of your bills. At the very least use it first to cover as much as possible and then move to one of the other strategies below.
Med-Pay coverage stands for Medical Payment coverage. It is an extra line item of coverage drivers can purchase with their auto insurance. Look for it separately on your insurance card or policy.
There are potentially two sources of Med-Pay coverage to pay your accident related medical bills. The first would be any Med-Pay coverage the at-fault driver has on his or her auto insurance. Check with his or her insurance company to see if it is available and up to how much.
The second source is Med-Pay coverage through your own auto insurance. Check with your auto insurance company to see if you have the coverage and what the limit of coverage is on the policy.
Med-Pay coverage acts just like health insurance up to the available limits of coverage. When you go to a doctor for treatment you supply them in advance with the Med-Pay coverage information so they can bill it directly to the company.
As mentioned above, the only downside to Med-Pay is the typical low limits most people carry. We typically encounter policies with just $1,000.00 in Med-Pay coverage. The max we have ever encountered has been $50,000.00.
We even recommend to our clients that they pursue the receipt of Med-Pay coverage on top of what health insurance pays. For example, many clients who are fortunate enough to have health insurance still have to pay co-pays out of pocket. Med-Pay coverage can reimburse the client for all of the co-pays he or she had to pay out of pocket. Most Med-Pay policies carry a three year statute of limitations to receive payment for accident related treatment costs.
Treatment On A Lien
Getting treatment on a lien means you pay nothing up front for the care you need and pay the doctor back at the end of your personal injury case out of your settlement or verdict. Naturally, not all doctors take patients on a lien. There are two ways to obtain treatment on a lien.
The first way is to go to the doctor you have been referred to and ask if they will treat you on a lien. More likely than not the doctor will not do so unless you have an attorney representing you. If you do, your attorney should contact the doctor to help him or her feel at easy about the case and the process of getting paid back at the end of the matter.
It is very rare that a doctor you have been referred to or are already treating with will treat your injuries on a lien. However, it never hurts to try and sometimes you get lucky.
The second way to get treatment on a lien is the guaranteed way to make sure you get the care you need without having to come out of pocket during your case. It is through a group your personal injury lawyer has a working relationship with that has the doctors you are in need of who will treat you on a lien.
Any personal injury lawyer worth their salt knows of at least one such group that can get you treated on a lien. These groups are willing to do this because they know the reputation of the lawyer they are working with and therefore know their investment is relatively safe because the lawyer would not take on a bad case.
These groups act like a funding company who has direct relationships with doctors to pay their bills as you get treatment. The group then gets paid back the full amount of the treatment costs at the end of your case.
As you can imagine, the organizations that are in this business are extremely selective with which attorneys they are willing to work with. Our personal injury trial lawyers have created lasting relationships with many companies that are willing to treat our clients who do not have health insurance on a lien.
In fact, we have a relationship with what we believe to be the best group that does this work which we believe is associated with the best doctors in Georgia. This is an important difference between injury lawyers. There are a lot of groups out there that do this work. Any lawyer can find one. Using the best group that has the best doctors to get you the best care possible is what it is all about.
So if find yourself injured from an accident with no health insurance to get the treatment you need don’t despair. There are several ways pay for the treatment you need without having to settle your case cheaply.