No Insurance for Medical Treatment? You Have Options.
After an injury, such as those sustained in a vehicle collision, it is important to get prompt treatment. A common scenario we see as personal injury attorneys is that of the injured person who does not have medical insurance and doesn’t know how or where to get medical treatment. First and foremost, it is important to get treated after an automobile accident as a means of getting better and addressing your injuries. Secondarily, it is important to get treated after an accident to discover all related injuries and to document them to preserve your claim(s) against the culpable party. If you don’t have insurance, there are still ways you can get the treatment you need after a collision. Here are some of your options:
Medical Payments coverage, also known as “MedPay,” pays medical expenses for you and any passengers in your vehicle who are injured during an accident or auto-related injury. Since Medical Payments coverage protects you, your family, your employees and other passengers in your car, it can be an important insurance to help protect both you and those you care about. This type of coverage is not mandatory in California so you may or may not have it on your policy. If you do have it, it allows you to receive some treatment and be reimbursed for the cost of treatment by your own insurance policy. If you are injured and you don’t have medical insurance, you should look into whether you have this coverage so that you can seek prompt treatment.
Medi-Cal is a program that offers free or low-cost health coverage for children and adults with limited income and resources. If you qualify, you may receive treatment at a discounted rate. For those that qualify, this is a good way to get the treatment they need. Even better, Medi-Cal can be applied retroactively, in some cases, paying for emergency care you may have already received. If you have been involved in a collision and have incurred significant medical bills that you don’t know how to pay for, see if you qualify for Medi-Cal and see whether they will retroactively cover you for the already received treatment.
Doctors on Liens
If you do not have MedPay, you do not qualify for Medi-Cal, and you have no other way of paying for medical treatment, you might consider seeking treatment on a lien basis. When you are treated on a “lien basis” your doctor will not require you to have medical insurance or to pay up front or at the time of treatment. Instead, your doctor or other medical provider will treat you now and wait to be paid after your personal injury case is completed. In exchange, you will grant the doctor a lien against your recovery in your personal injury case, as a form of security for the doctor so that he or she is assured that they will be paid out of any financial recovery in your case. A potential downside to this type of treatment is that many doctors will not treat on a lien basis and thus your choice of doctor may be limited.
If you, or your loved ones, are injured in a vehicle collision, it is important to get prompt, competent, treatment. Contact experienced personal injury attorneys, like those at Heiting & Irwin for help with your claims.