In Virginia, and other states, if you use health insurance to cover medical expenses accrued from a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or any other personal injury, and you subsequently receive money through a legal settlement or jury award, you may owe money to your health insurance company.
This notion of owing money to a health insurance company when you pay your monthly premiums in order to use that insurance, confuses many clients. It leaves many people wondering why they even have health insurance if they may ultimately have to end up paying the health insurance company back.
Here is some clarification on the matter that aims to lessen the confusion:
- Some health insurers have the right to be reimbursed in the event that you recover money to compensate you for medical expenses through a personal injury claim. The right to reimbursement – if it exists – may stem from the contract you originally signed with your health insurance company. If you receive a letter requesting reimbursement, ask that they point out the language in your health insurance policy that gives them that right. Usually, this will be in a specific section of the health insurance contract clearly marked “right to reimbursement” or “subrogation.”
- Not all health insurers request reimbursement, but it is becoming more and more commonplace. Generally, the reimbursement issue arises if you have an employer-sponsored health insurance plan or you have health coverage through TRIcare, Medicare, or Medicaid. If, on the other hand, you have an individual health insurance policy purchased independently, you may not owe any money to the health insurance company. My colleague, Rick Shapiro, delved into the apparent exception to health insurance reimbursment in a great article about the “hidden benefit” of getting an individual health plan through “Obamacare.”
- It is important to have some form of health insurance coverage. Do not neglect purchasing a policy simply because you do not want to re-pay the company if you get a settlement. Personal injury claims may take a while to resolve and during the pendency of the case, your medical bills need to be addressed. Having health insurance enables you to get those bills paid so you do not have to worry about the hospital or doctor sending your bill into collections.
Health Insurance Reimbursement is Complex – Talk to an Experienced Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyer
A responsibility I proudly take on for my clients is working with their health insurance company regarding reimbursement issues. If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a car accident, you should focus on healing and getting your life in order. You should not have to worry about haggling with an insurance company. Take that burden off your shoulders by speaking with an experienced Norfolk car accident attorney.