Many injured people mistakenly believe they should submit their medical bills to the at-fault driver’s insurance. This leaves you vulnerable to unpaid medical bills and collections.
As I was checking into the doctor today, I overheard the guy next to me (who was checking in for treatment related to an auto accident) tell the billing clerk to be sure to bill the other driver’s auto insurance instead of his own. While this request seems intuitively reasonable, he made a mistake, one of the most common mistakes I see in my practice. Unfortunately, it can be a costly mistake.
An experienced personal injury can help you avoid mistakes that could cost you a lot of money in the long run.
After an auto accident, you should bill all of your treatment first to your med-pay and then to your own health insurance. Here are 5 reasons it is a mistake to bill the other driver’s insurance:
Reason 1. Your health insurance has deeply discounted rates with hospitals and other medical providers. You pay for the benefit of these discounts with your premiums. Your insurance company negotiated a discount for you, the medical provider agreed to the discount, and you should get the discounted rate.
Reason 2: Billing your insurance gets your doctors paid quickly. Injury cases can take a long time to resolve. If the bills aren’t paid, they’ll go to collections and hurt your credit.
Reason 3: The at-fault insurance company is not going to pay your bills as they are incurred. They’re only going to pay you one lump sum when the case settles. If your bills aren’t paid, the at-fault insurance company will use the financial pressure you feel from your bills going to collections to pressure you into taking a less than your case is worth.
Reason 4: If you do not bill your health insurance early on, you may miss a prompt billing deadline and get stuck paying your medical bills if your case doesn’t settle.
Reason 5: You’ll keep more money when your case settles if your bills are first paid by your health insurance company. While we often have to repay your health insurance company out of the settlement, we only have to repay the deeply discounted amount they actually paid out, and we can usually get that amount reduced or sometimes even waived. This can make a huge difference in the amount of money you keep from your case.