Medical debt is one of the fastest growing causes of bankruptcy in our region. A stranger crashing into your car and subsequent injuries should not have to lead to major debt or even collections. After a car accident, there are several ways to pay for medical treatment. Your personal injury attorney will help you understand the different levels of insurance at play and will ensure that you make the correct choices for your situation.
If you do not have it already, you should contact your car insurance agent and supplement your policy with personal injury protection. A PIP policy acts like medical insurance coverage provided by your vehicle insurance but with even greater benefits. Firstly, PIP coverage is very inexpensive. Adding medical coverage to your vehicle policy may cost substantially less than you expect and will save you tremendous money if you do need medical care after a motor vehicle collision. With a PIP policy, there are no deductibles and no out-of-pocket copays. Washington mandates that every driver have at minimum a $10,000 PIP policy unless waived in writing. It is required because the cost is minimal and the ultimate savings after a crash may be massive.
Without personal injury protection coverage, the next layer of insurance should be through your medical insurance. Whether you have private employer insurance, state insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, your medical coverage will provide you with much of the necessary care to help you recuperate back to your baseline. Unlike PIP, medical coverage obviously has deductibles and copays. However, medical coverage is more universally accepted and will have fewer opportunities to be cutoff by the carrier.
No insurance does not have to mean no medical care. Many conservative care providers – especially chiropractors – but also often massage therapists, acupuncturists, and physical therapists, are willing to hold your billing until the end of your insurance claim. Most providers will require you have an attorney retained before they are willing to make this agreement. Sometimes you will need to pay additional interest. If you have no other means of payment, a generous and kind medical team may help you recover while at the same time permitting you to put forth a full insurance claim so you can pay them back at the very end.
Finally, cash payment is the least favorable option. Unfortunately, if there are no insurance policies covering you and your providers will not hold your payment, paying out of pocket may be your only chance of getting the care you require. In this instance, it may be better to reach out to other medical providers to see if a new care team would be willing to hold your bills until your case settled with the insurance carrier. However, the benefit of paying cash is that many providers are willing to provide substantial discounts. So, if you can afford paying cash if you have no insurance, it may save you money on the back end.
If you are in a motor vehicle accident, one of the first tasks you should complete is obtaining an evaluation from your primary care provider. Next, you should work with your general practitioner and your attorney to follow proper treatment protocols and to ensure that all your medical bills are appropriately paid. At the law offices of Magnuson Lowell, PS, our experience team has worked with insurance carriers and medical providers for decades to create the best experience for our clients. Call today for a free consultation.