Health Insurance -- Medical Expense Coverage
One of the issues that often come up in a Charlottesville, Virginia injury case is what to do about the medical bills. Some people mistakenly believe that since they were in a car accident, the insurance company of the person who caused the wreck will immediately pay the medical bills. This is simply not the case. The case cannot and should not be settled until the medical treatment is through. In the meantime, you want your medical bills paid by any health insurance or other insurance that you have that will pay for those bills.
Private Health Insurance
If you have private health insurance, you want to have your bills sent to that health insurance for payment. Your goal is to get the bills paid so medical providers will not be calling you for the full amount of the bills and they will not try to send the bills to collections agencies. You will have to pay your co-pays and deductibles, but you want to make sure the bills are paid. After you have recovered from the injuries, a claim will be made for all of your medical bills.
If your health insurance company pays your medical bills, you may or may not have to reimburse them for the payments they made when you settle your personal injury case. Whether or not you have to repay the health insurance company depends on your policy. When a health insurance tries to reclaim money they paid out from a personal injury settlement, it is called "subrogation."
Medical Expense Coverage
This is coverage that you would carry on your car? Sometimes the initial reaction from my clients is "why are we using my insurance?" The answer is because you pay a premium for it and you should use it if it's available. If you are not going to use it, take if off your policy and quit paying a premium for it. Medical expense coverage is usually in the amount of $1,000, $2,000, or $5,000, but it can be more. You should still have all of your bills sent to your health insurance carrier before you use your medical expense coverage. Some medical providers will try to push you to bill this insurance first. You should not agree to this and should only have them bill your health insurance. The reason the providers push is because they are trying to get paid the full amount of their bill and not the amount that your health insurance carrier or Medicare will reimburse them. You pay for your health insurance premium and you should use it.
Medical Expense Coverage can be a windfall because your bills are paid by health insurance if you have it. Then the bills are claimed against the liability company. Then if you have medical expense coverage, the bills are covered for a third time. At first glance, this may seem like a windfall, but what has happened is that you are just insured in two different ways and then a third insurance company is also responsible to you. You are paying premiums for two of the coverages.