There are rules that determine how medical bills are paid following injuries sustained in auto accidents. The information below assumes that you selected your automobile insurance company to pay your bills and did not select your private health insurance company.
- As soon as possible after the automobile accident, you should report the claim to your automobile insurance carrier. They will assign a PIP representative to you and give you a claim number. This PIP claims representative is the person who will approve or disapprove your medical care and see that the bills from the various doctors and other medical providers are paid promptly. The PIP claim number is not to be confused with your policy number. Make sure you write the claim number down and also the name and address of your PIP representative.
- Give your claim number and insurance information to all doctors and medical providers. Normally, even before you see a doctor, the doctor’s office will ask you for the name and address of your insurance company, the name, address and telephone number of the specific PIP claims representative. The doctor’s office will then contact your automobile insurance company and hopefully approve the medical treatment that is planned. If all of this is done correctly, you should not receive any unpaid medical bills. Problems may occur if your automobile insurance company does not believe that the treatment plan is related to the accident. Stay in touch with your PIP claims representative and try to make him or her your best friend.
- Respond immediately to your PIP claims representative if you do receive unpaid medical bills from your medical providers. Communication is the key. If you receive an unpaid bill from a provider, make sure that that individual provider has all of your PIP information. If he doesn’t, give it to the medical provider along with the insurance information so that it can send it in to the automobile insurance company for payment. This is important because you want to avoid these bills being sent to collection agencies.
- Deductibles. Generally, there is a $250.00 deductible which means that the first $250.00 of bills are payable by the patient and thereafter, the insured is also required to pay 20% of the next $4,750.00. The automobile insurance company is required to pay 100% of the medical bills after the bills exceed $5,000.00.
- If you find yourself in a position where you are receiving unpaid medical bills even though they have been properly submitted to your insurance company, you may wish to contact an attorney that is skilled in these matters. Also, it may be that a doctor has recommended a surgical procedure, but your insurance company may refuse to pay for their various reasons. Once again, this should cause you to hire a skilled attorney to file a lawsuit against the insurance company to compel them to pay. If you find yourself in these situations, don’t hesitate to contact us.