Hospitals Ignore Your Insurance


patient signining health insurance claim form in hospital

Be careful what you sign. Hospitals may try to bypass your insurance after an accident so they can take a chunk of your injury settlement.

When you are injured in a car accident, truck accident, or slip and fall, you probably think a hospital will submit your bills to your health insurance.  Unfortunately, this is not the case – hospitals often refuse to bill insurance in an attempt to get paid more out of your settlement.  This is because some medical providers try to avoid getting paid a discounted rate from your health insurance by either filing a lien or not billing your insurance at all.  

A recent New York Times Article reported about how hospitals can profit off of your car accident.  The reason is simple – why take 25 cents on the dollar for a bill paid by a private health insurance policy, when a hospital can seek a portion of a person’s injury settlement and receive more money?  Many states, such as Missouri and Illinois allow a medical provider to do this by placing or a “lien” against your accident case.  While this can be helpful and reduce total payments if you don’t have health insurance, it is not always to your benefit if you do. Those who have Medicaid face similar problems.  A hospital’s billing department will know that Medicaid pays even less than private insurance and have even more of an incentive to bypass health insurance.  

If you are not careful after an accident, you might end up signing something agreeing to have the hospital bypass your insurance.  Alternatively, you might not understand paperwork sent to after a visit to the hospital, and all of the sudden the hospital won’t submit your claim to your insurance.  Hiring a lawyer at MHM Legal can help you avoid traps and let you focus on healing.