We are never more vulnerable than right after a car accident. When we are injured or even unconscious, we are in no position to make critical choices regarding the most cost-effective methods to obtain healthcare. Most of us assume that, provided we have health insurance, we are covered if anything goes critically wrong. That may not always be the case, however.
A recent settlement between St. Luke’s Hospital in Missouri and multiple plaintiffs reveals hospitals are not always looking after our best interests, especially with regard to money. At St. Luke’s in Missouri, at least 930 patients had their health insurance declined, not because the insurance would not cover the treatment, but because St. Luke’s found it more lucrative to seek money from the car insurance companies instead.
Anyone who has been in a car accident can testify to the toll it takes on so many aspects of our lives. Not only are there health issues, many of which we might not even be aware for weeks or months after the event, but there are also the emotional difficulties that arise from the trauma. Nightmares and fear of being on the road are not uncommon in these instances following a car accident.
As difficult as it can be to keep track of everything, it is important that those who are in an accident notice anything abnormal in the hospital billing, and enlist proper legal assistance as soon as the error is noted. There are currently few safeguards to protect accident victims from being over-billed or double-billed, but you can take part in the following to ensure you are protected:
- Retain copies of your medical records, as well as any and all billing receipts.
- Check to make sure your health insurance company is covering the medical care you received.
- Maintain contact with your car insurance agent to be certain there hasn’t been unexpected or strange contact from the medical providers who treated you.
Each year there are six million car accidents in the United States, with two million people suffering permanent injuries as a result. When you have to sift through the hospital bills and insurance claims that need to be filled out, a reputable law firm can assist you to ensure you receive the compensation and support you deserve.