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Submitting Your Bills to Health Insurance

You’ve been injured in an accident, and likely are experiencing pain and stress as you recover. Maybe it was a car crash, or you slipped and fell because of a hazard on someone’s property. You may have suffered any of a number of injuries — broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, or soft tissue injuries. You probably had to go to the emergency room, get x-rays and other tests, and possibly were admitted for surgery or some other procedure. Then you had follow up visits with your family doctor, or visits with specialists, or a course of physical therapy to help you get back to normal.

Any time you have to go to the hospital, costly bills can rack up quickly. You get billed just to walk into the hospital, and then you get separate bills for the ER physician, surgeon, anesthesiologist, medical supplies, hospital room, etc. Then there are the bills from your doctor and any other you’ve had to see following your accident, plus the cost of prescription drugs. You may be wondering how you’re going to pay for all of this.

Maybe you’ve submitted a claim to the auto insurance, homeowners insurance, or business insurance policy for the person who caused your accident. That’s a good step, but settling a claim can be a lengthy process, and you’ve got hospitals and doctors breathing down your neck now and threatening to send your bills to a collection agency. If the insurance company is refusing to settle, you may have to file a lawsuit — which can mean years before you’re compensated for your injuries. You’re frustrated that in addition to your physical pain and suffering, your credit is now going to be affected by someone else’s negligence or recklessness.

What many people don’t know after they’ve had an accident is that you don’t necessarily have to wait for an insurance settlement or a lawsuit verdict to get your medical bills paid. If you have health insurance, you can submit your medical bills for reimbursement by your health insurance policy while you’re waiting for your accident claim to resolve.

Typically, your health insurance will cover your medical costs, but your insurance company will ask you some questions about how you were injured. It’s important to provide the information your health insurance carrier seeks. Don’t offer extra information — and don’t admit any kind of fault for your accident or injuries — but do answer the questions asked. One purpose for seeking this information is so that your health insurance carrier can try to get reimbursement from the person who caused your accident — and who should be responsible for paying your bills — through a process called subrogation.

If you’re concerned about medical bills from an accidental injury, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you figure out how to make a claim for compensation from the person who caused your accident, and how to take steps to keep your family on stable financial footing while you’re waiting for a settlement or jury verdict.