If you have medical debt after an accident or injury, you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19% of U.S. households carry medical debt. Many individuals forego medical care or treatment because they are worried that they cannot afford it.
There are ways to get the medical care you need without breaking the bank. The following are suggestions on negotiating, reducing, or avoiding steep medical bills after a severe injury.
How Much Does Medical Treatment Cost After an Accident?
You probably know that even a single trip to the emergency room is thousands of dollars. The exact cost of your medical treatment depends on the type of accident injuries you have and the care you need. The minimum amount of bodily injury liability insurance for auto drivers in Texas is $30,000. It’s not uncommon for medical treatment to cost more than that for a severe accident.
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most expensive to treat and manage long-term. A 25-year-old with a spinal cord injury could incur between $1.5 million and $4.7 million in costs over their lifetime. Traumatic brain injuries are also expensive, ranging from $85,000 to $3 million over time.
Who Pays Medical Bills After an Accident?
Your medical bills may be covered by:
- Your auto insurance policy
- Your personal injury protection insurance
- Uninsured/underinsured motorists’ insurance
- Your health insurance policy
- The at-fault party’s insurance
- Damages from a lawsuit against the at-fault party
Even when insurance covers your medical bills, it may not cover every cost. You could exceed the policy limits, or you might need to see a specialist out of network.
The suggestions below could reduce your out-of-pocket medical bills.
Reducing Medical Bills
There are many ways to get a reduced medical bill. Some treatment providers, like hospitals, have a public financial assistance program. However, even private treatment providers have payment options.
Many hospitals, doctors, urgent care centers, and other medical providers offer an automatic self-pay discount. If they don’t have to run things through your insurance company, they will give you a lower rate. This rate can be as much as 60% of your medical bills.
You should always ask if the treatment provider offers a self-pay discount before paying your account in full.
Hospitals and many private doctors offer financial assistance or a sliding scale fee schedule. You can apply for financial aid before or after receiving treatment, often basing your eligibility on tax return documents or actual income. Thus, if you can no longer work because of your accident, you should notify the service provider of that, and they may be more willing to discount your bills.
Lump Sum Payment
Once you receive a settlement, you will have enough money to offer a lump sum for received medical treatment. The hospital or medical practice may be willing to take less money if you can pay your balance in full right away. For example, suppose you owe the emergency room $20,000 for a hospital stay. In that case, you may be able to negotiate that down to $5,000 or even less with a lump sum offer.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
Anderson Injury Lawyers pursue compensation from the party who caused your accident or injury. A personal injury lawyer can also help you negotiate reduced medical bills.