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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

How Obamacare Benefits Car Accident Victims

by Jared Staver in Auto Accidents, Bus Accidents, Personal Injury

The passing of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was controversial. But whether people agreed with the law or not, it’s clear that there have been some key benefits. It’s inevitable, people will get sick or get hurt in accidents and they’ll need medical attention. If they have health insurance, they might not worry. But people who don’t have insurance face hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

For car accident victims in particular, Obamacare has provided clear benefits.

More Car Crash Victims Have Health Insurance

Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2013, many car accident victims had to rely on their own bank accounts to pay for their injuries. Millions of individuals in the U.S. didn’t have health care coverage of their own, which meant they had to wait for a settlement to reimburse them. Considering it can take months to receive a settlement from an insurer or more than a year to receive damages if they had to file a lawsuit, millions of Americans could find themselves under a mountain of medical debt from accidents.

As of 2015, almost 17 million U.S. residents have gained health care coverage under the new law. Now when one of these individuals is hurt in a car accident, they can turn to their own health insurance to pay their medical bills instead of trying to get the care they need on their own income and savings. While they still may face a high deductible, that cost might be a tenth of their total medical expenses.

Pre-Existing Conditions Can’t Prevent Future Coverage

A serious car accident can cause someone to have a permanent or long-term medical condition. This injury might require on-going medical care, such as physical exams, blood work and other tests, medication, physical therapy and more. When moving to a new insurer, this is known as a pre-existing condition.

Before the implementation of the ACA, some insurers would deny coverage to individuals with certain pre-existing conditions or would allow a policy but not pay for expenses related to that pre-existing condition. Now, insurers cannot deny coverage for an injury that occurred before the policy began.

Insurance Companies Lost the Right to Subrogation

In the past, health insurers would pay car accident victim’s expenses, but then they’d expect to be paid back if there was a personal injury settlement. Considering that many car accident victims receive a settlement from the at-fault party’s insurer or the at-fault party themselves, this means the victim was always asked to reduce their settlement award. Subrogation could cost someone a majority if not all of a settlement, leaving them with nothing to cover their lost wages and pain and suffering.

Contact a Attorney

If you were hurt in a car accident and you’re wondering how you’re going to pay your bills, contact an experienced lawyer who can answer your questions. You can always turn to your own health insurance to cover your medical expenses. If you don’t currently have health insurance, your lawyer can advise you on signing up for Medicare or Medicaid, or purchasing a plan through a state or federal marketplace.

Additionally, your attorney will help you file a claim with your auto insurance or a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer. If you’re unable to negotiate a beneficial settlement, your attorney can advise you on filing a lawsuit against the other driver. Call the Illinois lawyers from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to learn more.