Don’t Wait When Seeking Help Covering Medical Bills After a Crash
Imagine you are opening your mail and find a check made out to you from your health insurance provider for $80,000. However, you were given no instructions from the insurance company on how you should spend the money. You continue to receive additional checks until you have over $140,000. This routinely happens to crash victims, when they are not represented by a personal injury attorney.
In one case, a man received nearly 50 checks, totaling around $400,000. The money was intended to be used to cover the costs of the victim's medical treatment. However, the man used the proceeds for personal reasons, as he was not advised on how to apply the disbursed funds.
When patients choose to use out-of-network health care providers, the insurance company sends the funds directly to the victim. These funds are intended to cover the victims' medical costs from the out-of-network providers but are not provided with any instructions on how to apply the funds.
Are Payments “Revenge” Against Providers That Won’t Join the Network?
Some medical caregivers believe that these direct-to-patient payments are intended as a revenge tactic for companies that refuse to join networks. However, these companies often argue that they are under no contractual obligation with the caregivers and that the money must be paid to the patient directly under the law.
Usually, upon checking into a facility, patients will sign an “assignment of benefits” form instructing their insurance provider to provide payment for benefits to the health care provider directly. However, some companies have clauses that prevent this, causing the payment to be sent to the patient instead.
Advocates for insurers claim that the companies are trying to protect the rights of their patients because out-of-network providers often charge much more than providers that are in-network. In-network providers have a contracted rate with insurance companies. Patients are often taken by surprise when they receive large medical bills from out-of-network providers, as they are not bound by a contracted rate.
How Do Patients Respond to Receiving These Checks?
When receiving these checks, patients are supposed to send them to the medical provider. Some patients are aware of this while others are not. They may be confused about why they are receiving the checks because they usually lack defined instructions.
In one case, a woman reported receiving more than $4,000 from an insurer for a surgical procedure carried out by a doctor who was out-of-network. She was receiving checks made out to her husband who was the policy carrier. The woman claimed that the company did not provide any directions on what the money was for or what she should do with the funds.
With the help of an experienced New Mexico personal injury lawyer, victims can potentially avoid these confusing situations.
New Mexico Rollover Accidents
Rollover accidents have a higher fatality rate than other types of car crashes. These accidents account for 35% of all roadway fatalities each year. 90 people are killed each day after being involved in a traffic accident in the United States.
Rollovers often involve drivers who are traveling at an unsafe speed. Speeding magnifies the intensity of injuries associated with a vehicle collision. Victims who have sustained injuries in a crash may be eligible for compensation.
At Will Ferguson & Associates, we have a team of skilled New Mexico rollover crash attorneys that can fight for your legal rights. We have helped countless victims recover million-dollar settlements after sustaining injuries in a serious car accident. Contact our law offices at (505) 243-5566 to discuss your claim today.
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