If you are a victim of an accident, you are probably concerned about paying for your medical appointments and procedures. You may find yourself postponing your initial visit to urgent care because you’re worried about the financial burden that could follow. You may also think you have to choose the lesser of two evils when deciding whether to go to your treatment sessions or whether to go to work in order to pay off those medical bills. While these concerns are quite common, you may have less to worry about than you think.
What is a Lien and How can I benefit from it?
Generally, treatment providers are paid for their services out of the settlement or award you receive at the conclusion of your claim. During your first appointment, many providers often allow patients to treat on a “lien.” A provider lien is usually a written contractual agreement between the patient and provider which allows the patient to presently treat on the promise of future repayment at your claim’s conclusion. They may ask your attorney to sign the agreement too. While many providers use written contractual liens, some providers have statutory liens created by Colorado statutes that commit the patient to repayment regardless of a written agreement. Your attorney can help provide clarity on this issue after speaking with you regarding your specific treatment providers. As you can see, provider liens can be valuable for individuals who struggle to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses.
Unfortunately, other providers may not allow you to treat on a lien, and instead, they could mail you a bill and require immediate payment. If you find yourself in this situation, you should contact your treatment provider to discuss repayment options. While it may seem unfair to pay out-of-pocket for treatment, it will keep your outstanding bill from going to collections and your attorney can ask for your reimbursement from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Can I use My Health Insurance to Pay for My Treatment?
Your ability to use your health insurance depends on whether or not your provider accepts your health insurance plan. Even if you can use your health insurance, your coverage will depend on your plan’s deductibles and restrictions. You may also be responsible for any related copays. Further, keep in mind that your health insurance carrier must be reimbursed for the bills they’ve paid that are related to your accident claim. In other words, using your health insurance will allow your insurance carrier to create a statutory lien, which must be paid back, according to Colorado law.
Will the At-fault Driver’s Auto Insurance Company Pay for My Treatment in Real Time?
Colorado is an “at-fault” insurance state. This means if you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance should pay for your medical bills and other losses. However, this does not occur in real-time as you are treating. All of the costs and losses you incur during your treatment will need to be included in your personal injury claim, which is often called a demand package. At Tipton Law, we will put together your demand package, which may include gathering all of your related medical bills and records from the facilities that treated you, proof of lost wages, pictures of your injuries, and more. These documents will accompany the demand letter, which will include your initial settlement offer.
However, in the interim, you’ll have to pay for your medical expenses (or treat on a lien) until your claim is resolved.
Will My Auto Insurance Pay for My Treatment?
As part of your auto insurance policy, you may have medical payments coverage (“medpay”) that you can use to pay for your outstanding medical bills while treating. Generally, medpay should cover your medical expenses up to your coverage limit. Medpay can also help pay for medical treatment not covered by your health insurance plan. The benefit of using your medpay coverage is that your auto insurance company doesn’t have a right to be reimbursed out of the settlement for the amount you use, even if you exhaust your entire coverage limit. If you’re unclear about whether you have medpay, give Tipton Law a call today and our attorneys will be happy to investigate your insurance coverage for you.
Contact our Car Accident Attorneys
At Tipton Law, we understand that injured motorists in Colorado want to be fairly compensated and they are looking for a legal team to assist them in this process. Our attorneys know all too well that insurance companies will continue to work against you in the hopes of settling claims quickly for the lowest settlement amounts possible. Therefore, it is important to have a team like Tipton Law on your side, where we stand up for our clients and ensure their voices are heard. Contact Tipton Law today so we can help you get on the right track in your personal injury claim.