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Should your health insurance or car insurance pay for your hospital bill?

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You go to the hospital because you need medical attention. You are asked questions about your health insurance and what brought you to the hospital. You are handed a bunch of papers to sign. You sign them. Either you or someone you care about needs help, so you are getting done what needs to get done.

However, if you are there because of an injury from a car accident, you may have signed a ASSIGNMENT that allows the hospital to bill your car insurance company under your MEDPAY coverage instead of your health insurance. That's a real problem.

Most arrangements between a hospital and a health insurance company require the hospital to treat that company's insureds for a negotiated amount that is lower than the full charge for the service. The hospital is willing to accept a lower amount from the insurance company in exchange for the insurance company covering for fees if the patient goes to that hospital. Hospitals will charge lower fees to insureds of the company because they know they will have a large pool of people who will come to the hospital for which they will get paid. They won't have to hire a collection agency or lawyer to collect the debt if the patient cannot pay.

BUT, the hospitals are trying to get around that promise by billing patients' auto insurance policies. If you are at the hospital because of a car accident, you may be asked to provide your car insurance, and the hospital will try to get the full amount from your car insurance -- with whom it does not have an agreement to take a lesser amount for its services.

So, what do you do? COMPLAIN TO YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY! The provider (hospital or doctor) is trying to have its cake and eat it, too. They are violating standard provider agreements and should be called on it.

Category: Injuries and Wrongful Death

Sandra Rohrstaff
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Virginia Child Injury and Elder Abuse Attorney

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