Getting Treatment When You Don’t Have Health Insurance

ELI5: Negligence

Imagine being injured because of someone else’s reckless disregard for your safety. And, not only were your injuries the fault of someone else’s negligence, but you can’t afford to get treatment because you don’t have health insurance. It’s an unfortunate reality for many people living in the United States. To further complicate matters, if you don’t seek treatment, you could lose a personal injury case because it could be argued that you weren’t really injured since you were never treated. In cases like this, it’s important to know that you have options. If you were injured, you need to seek treatment as soon as possible.

HOW IT WORKS WHEN YOU HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE

If you have health insurance, getting care is going to be a much smoother process. If you need emergency medical care, you will go to the emergency room from the scene of the incident. After that, you will likely be referred to a doctor for follow-up care. Once your claims are submitted to your health insurance company, you will receive statements showing what the health insurance paid and what your out-of-pocket or unpaid balance is, if any. In personal injury claims, these statements or bills represent your economic damages. Once your claim is either settled or adjudicated in your favor, you will receive compensation. This compensation can pay any outstanding balances for medical bills. Sometimes, your health insurance company may want to be paid back for the money they paid for your medical bills.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU DON’T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE

If you don’t have insurance, but you need emergency medical treatment, you still need to go to the emergency room. They cannot turn you away, even if you have no insurance or money, but you will be responsible for their bills which are usually pretty big. Things can get a little tricky with follow-up care. A lot of specialists will want to see that you have insurance before they see you. And, if you do not have insurance, specialists are legally able to refuse to provide treatment to you. But if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you need to get treatment as soon as possible—especially if you want to file a claim.

FINDING THE RIGHT DOCTOR- Getting Treatment When You Don’t Have Health Insurance

There are doctors that will treat patients who don’t have insurance on contingency. This means that the doctors who treat you will have a lien on your personal injury settlement. Once you are awarded compensation, your doctors will be paid out of your settlement. Your attorney should help negotiate with the doctors to lower the bills so your medical expenses are taken less out of your settlement. If you do not win your personal injury claim, the lien may be extinguished. Getting treatment on a lien basis is an option even if you have insurance. However, it’s almost always in your best interest to use your insurance if you’ve got it. Doctors aren’t obligated to reduce the balance of their lien. Health insurance companies always adjust doctors’ bills down, and you may end up paying less by repaying your health insurance company than by negotiating with your doctor yourself.

HIRING A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

If you are injured and you don’t have health insurance, a personal injury attorney can be an invaluable resource to you. Though a personal injury attorney cannot get involved in your medical decisions and shouldn’t tell you to treat with a particular doctor, they may be able to give you the names of doctors who they know from their experience will treat patients on a lien. Additionally, they can help negotiate your medical expenses so you aren’t paying so much out of your settlement.

THE MOXIE DIFFERENCE

You’ve likely had a Hulu binge interrupted by some old, white guy advertising the best Utah car accidents attorney. But those attorneys are the same as every other Utah car accidents attorney. You don’t need the guy who can spam you with the most ads for car accidents lawyer in Utah. You need an attorney with moxie. At Moxie Law Group, we’re committed to fighting for the maximum compensation with empathy, integrity, and tenacity without interrupting your Hulu binges. If you need help getting the compensation you deserve, contact Moxie Law Group today.

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