One of the most common questions our clients ask us concerns how their medical bills will be paid. As is often the case, the answer depends on our client’s particular situation. Let’s discuss:
For those injured in an auto crash or while on someone else’s property, there is typically medical expense coverage available under the policy covering the car or property in question. This coverage is often referred to as medical pay benefits, or “med pay,” and will pay medical expenses up to a specified dollar amount. The amount varies depending on the type of coverage obtained by the owner of the car or the property. Typical amounts for med pay coverage is for $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000. Sometimes with auto policies, there can be med pay coverage of up to $25,000, $50,000, or even up to $100,000. The typical auto med pay coverage is for $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000 and the same is true for med pay coverage under a property insurance policy. When there is an injury involving a car accident or on another’s property, med pay is typically the first insurance to provide payment on medical bills up to the amount of the med pay coverage amount. When the med pay is exhausted, insurance bills can be paid by other insurance coverage.
Health or medical insurance is typically provided through a private health insurance policy, Medicare, or Medicaid. If it’s private health insurance, the coverage will kick in to pay on medical bills after any deductible has been exhausted. Then, payments are made by the health insurer along with any co-pays. Fortunately, if there is med pay coverage available, those med pay payments can help satisfy the co-pay and deductible amounts under a private pay health insurance policy.
Medicare coverage operates the same as private pay coverage for those who are retired and have Medicare coverage as part of their retirement. Medicare will pay subject to the patient’s personal deductible under their coverage. Any amounts not covered by Medicare can be paid through med pay coverage, and also through any Medicare supplement policy which the injured person may have previously purchased as part of a health insurance policy. Also, Medicare coverage is typically available for a person who is receiving Social Security disability payments.
Finally, for Medicaid, such insurance coverage is available for those who meet the Medicaid income qualifications. For those living in Indiana, they are typically covered under the Healthy Indiana Plan, commonly known as “HIP.” With Medicaid, there are no deductibles or copays with Medicaid paying from dollar one of the first medical billing after the exhaustion of any med pay coverage that might be available.
For those who don’t have coverage, they will be provided medical care for the emergency treatment of their injuries. Clients who meet the income guidelines in place for Medicaid coverage can also apply for Medicaid after they’ve been injured, and Medicaid will typically cover the cost of those medical bills incurred for required injury treatment. Foley & Small will also send so-called “letters of protection.” We send these are letters to healthcare providers who have billings owed by our client in which we tell the provider of our representation and make the promise—with our client’s consent and approval—that we will take care of payment of their billing from the recovery we obtain for the client. While a healthcare provider is not required to agree to the proposal, most will either not commence any collection proceedings or suspend the proceedings pending resolution of our client’s claim.
It is always one of the goals for our Foley & Small clients that the client receives all of the medical care they need to achieve the best recovery on their injuries. We will work with the client to ensure that they get such medical care and that the issue of either having insurance or not having insurance does not prevent them from receiving the care they need.