Health insurance provides a certain assurance for people; they know that they can seek medical assistance without worrying about its expense if they are injured. Unfortunately, not everyone has health insurance. Those without often suffer in silence, allowing injuries to get worse before seeking any attention at all. While it might seem unusual, even after a car accident, some people are hesitant to seek medical assistance because they do not have health insurance to cover the treatment. The claims process will typically help offset the expense of health care, but it takes time. Therefore, those without health insurance are left wondering who pays for it.
The Responsibilities of Medical Payment
The sad truth is that the victims of car accidents are typically responsible for the immediate payment of their medical expenses. They can cover those costs by using their personal health insurance or their own money, but help will not come until the claim is settled. Even when a person is not responsible for the collision, they are technically liable for their medical costs. However, that does not mean that they are without help.
Medicaid and Auto Insurance Coverage
Low-income citizens can apply for Medicaid, which is a federal health insurance program. For those who qualify, Medicaid will cover all of your hospital expenses for your vehicle accident. Unfortunately, there is a strict threshold, meaning that not everyone will be eligible.
If you do not qualify for Medicaid, you might seek assistance through the other parties’ insurance. If the person who caused the collision has medical payment coverage, some of your medical expenses may be covered by that coverage. The main downside of dealing with your medical this way is the coverage is typically limited to $10,000 or less, meaning anything over and above is still your responsibility.
Payment Arrangements Through Medical Providers
In some cases, a healthcare provider will be willing to postpone direct payments, and many others will be willing to take monthly installments until the debt is covered. Some facilities may wait for payments until after a settlement or a verdict is reached in your claims proceeding.
An attorney can help set up these arrangements — legally called attorney liens. Utilizing this process means any settlement or judgment in your favor will go to paying down or paying off medical costs first before it goes to you.
If you are dealing with overwhelming medical bills after a car accident, you should contact your local personal injury or car accident attorney to schedule a consultation.