Q: How do my medical bills get paid for after I've been in an accident in Illinois.
- It is rare for the driver at fault’s insurance company to pay your medical bills. If they do, it’s probably because they’re taking advantage of you and want to close out your file as soon as possible. Or, because you have such a good claim they’re trying to keep you happy so you don’t hire a lawyer and are hoping you will just go away.
- Besides out of your own pocket, the first way to get your medical bills paid is from your medical payment coverage from your own automobile insurance policy. If you go to the hospital or doctor for treatment, give them your auto insurance card for so they know where to send bills for payment for your medical treatment.
- The second way to get your medical bills paid is with your health insurance card, if you have one. At the hospital or doctor’s office, give them your health insurance card right along with your auto insurance card.
- The third way to get your medical bills paid may be from a state issued medical card, if you are eligible. Typically, hospitals, doctors and physical therapists, and any other health care provider will not be overjoyed to take your state medical card. The reason is that health care providers that accept a state medical card are paid on a very low percentage compared to what their services are billed. However, when it comes time to get paid on your case, your state medical card is good for you because that means there will be less money taken from you to reimburse the state for paying your medical bills.
- The fourth way to get your medical bills paid is through the federal Medicare program, if you are eligible. This program operates much in the same fashion as your state card issued medical card, but with more healthcare providers to choose from. In addition, Medicare may pay your doctors and hospitals quicker and at a higher percentage of their bills than does the state medical programs. On the flip side, by time you receive Medicare there will be a lien against your settlement proceeds that will make the insurance companies very nervous about paying you for your damages until that lien is resolved. Getting that lien resolved from Medicare is no easy task and can be very time consuming even under the best circumstances.
- Even if you do not have any of the payment resources mentioned above, all is still not lost. Your lawyer should be able to recommend doctors that will treat you for your injuries without insurance or government assistance. These doctors will take a lien against the proceeds in your case to pay for your treatment. Remember though, even if your lawyer helps you find a doctor, you still don’t want his name being in your medical records as the person that referred you to that doctor.
- Keep in mind that hospitals, doctors, government assistance programs, and sometimes even insurance companies will have liens against your settlement or trial award. While it’s typically near impossible for an individual to get these liens significantly lowered, your lawyer may be able to get those medical liens reduced.
To get more information after you or a family member has been hurt in an accident in Illinois, fill out the form on this website and get your FREE "Illinois Guide Book to Auto Accidents and Injuries" and the "Illinois Guide Book to Semi Truck Accidents." Or better yet, for more direct answers call the Giacoletto Law Firm at 618-346-8841 or toll free at 888-346-8841 to speak today with an experienced Madison or St. Clair County accident attorney centrally located in Collinsville.