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When you pay for healthcare coverage and are injured in an accident, like most Americans, you would likely assume that your health insurance would cover the medical bills and that your settlement would be free and clear (pending any applicable taxes, of course). That is, after all, why you pay for healthcare coverage. Yet, according to a news investigation, hospitals all over the country are refusing to bill the victim’s health insurance and, instead, are seeking compensation through their auto accident injury settlement. The end result is often a short-sided and unfair settlement for accident victims.
Why At-Fault Drivers Are Footing the Hospital Bill
Just as patients make agreements with their insurance companies regarding how much they will pay in exchange for lower-costing healthcare, physicians and hospitals make contractual agreements that predetermine how much they will be paid for services when they bill an insurance provider. These amounts, otherwise known as “allowable amounts,” are typically higher than the patient might have been able to pay for the service out-of-pocket, but are lower than the provider’s full fee. The remaining balance is then written off by the provider as a “contractual adjustment,” rather than being billed to the patient. This, too, is an agreement they make when contracting with an insurance company.
In an attempt to work around this agreement and recover their full fee, some hospitals are attempting to hold the at-fault driver in automobile accidents responsible for the services provided. This, in theory, is not necessarily a negative thing since an at-fault driver should be held accountable for their actions, but it is actually the victims who are paying the bill. Rather than increasing the amount that victims receive, these bills are held as liens against any settlement they might receive. And, instead of their insurance doing the job it is meant to do – provide them with affordable and reasonably priced health care – they are paying the full price for medical treatment.
Injured in an Accident? Our Skilled Auto Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you have recently been in an accident, you may be due compensation for your injuries. Martoccio & Martoccio can help you pursue that compensation, negotiate a fair settlement, and help protect it from under-handed tactics that might reduce the amount. Schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about how we can help with your auto accident injury claim. Call our experienced DuPage County automobile accident attorneys at 630-920-8855 today.