Should I Use Health Insurance If I Was Injured in a Car Accident?
May 29, 2013
If you are involved in an
auto accident and are covered by health insurance, the answer is clear, you need to
use your health insurance. When I tell people this they always ask the
question, “Why should I use my health insurance if the other driver
was at fault?” There are a number of reasons which will be explained
below, but the most important reason is that it will mean MORE MONEY FOR
YOU when the claim resolves.
In order to understand this, you have to understand the basic premise of
how health insurance works. Most importantly, health insurers have negotiated
rates with their participating providers. This means that if you go to
the emergency room after your car accident and the bill that the hospital
typically charges is $1,000.00, the health insurer only has to pay a fraction
of the cost and the hospital accepts it as payment in full. If you do
not have health insurance you owe $1,000.00. The irony of the situation
is that people that may not be in a position to afford health insurance
actually pay more than those with health insurance.
With a foundation for how health insurance works we will compare how two
separate clients fare in the exact same wreck, with the exact same injuries,
and the exact same offer from the car insurance company. The only difference
between these two clients is that one has health insurance and the other
does not. Here are the assumptions. Assume that each has medical bills
totaling $5,000.00. Assume that the offer is $12,000.00 and assume that
attorneys’ fees are one third of the settlement or $4,000.00. Thus,
the person that has no health insurance owes attorneys’ fees and has
to pay $5,000.00 in medical bills leaving him with only $3,000.00 (this
is not fair and should not happen as the attorney should never receive
more than the client, but we will leave that for another discussion).
What does the person with health insurance receive?
Under this scenario, let’s assume that the health insurer is one that
is entitled to get their money back
(for more inform
ation about this
and let’s assume that they are entitled to receive $2,000.00. Under
this scenario with the payment of attorneys’ fees and the payment
back to the health insurer, the client receives $6,000.00. This is a very
real world situation that happens everyday in personal injury. It is the same wreck, same injuries, same offer, yet the person with health
insurance gets double the money!
There are a number of different variables that we have assumed in the above
example for the sake of simplicity, but the analysis in every case is
the same. You need the best personal injury attorney in Atlanta who understands
how all of the different types of insurance are coordinated so that you
can maximize the amount of money that you receive.