No Health Insurance After Car Accident
If you have health insurance, your medical providers should be filing through your health insurance company. However, not having health insurance can create uncertainty and worry after another person injures you.
The bad news is that getting treatment may be more difficult without health insurance. The good news is that getting treatment is still possible. The best news is that treatment may help you get back to being yourself.
Medical Treatment Options
There are typically three options if you were injured in a South Carolina car wreck and don't have medical insurance.
Paying Out of Pocket: this is an obvious option but is normally not feasible. An ambulance typically charges just under $1,000, and a hospital visit with an MRI, x-ray, or CT scan typically costs around $3,000. Before you even see your primary care physician, get physical therapy, treat with an orthopedist or neurologist, you may be looking at $5,000 in medical bills. Most people don't have that kind of money just sitting around.
Letters of Protection: Some medical providers treat on what is called a "letter of protection" (LOP). An LOP is an agreement that says, "I agree to treat you, and you agree to pay me for the treatment out of any settlement money you obtain." It is the equivalent of having a lien on your car accident claim. LOPs are very helpful when someone is wrongfully injured (car wreck, medical malpractice, etc.) and liability is clear. At the end of the case, the medical provider is paid from the settlement/verdict funds.
Medical Funding: This is like a mix between health insurance and an LOP for wreck-related treatment, and it normally holds the same lien characteristics of an LOP. With medical funding, a third-party company pays your medical provider, and at the end of the case, you pay back the third-party company from the settlement/verdict funds.
Some people may wonder, "If I treat on a letter of protection, will I have a good doctor?" The answer is a resounding "yes." All licensed physicians take the same Hippocratic oath, and there are numerous doctors who treat on LOPs or through medical funding.
Next Steps in Treatment After an Automobile Wreck
If you were in a wreck, you likely now know that medical treatment is only one of the burdens that has fallen on your shoulders. You can read about how to handle other portions of your South Carolina automobile insurance claim here, including trucking wrecks, DUI wrecks, and hit and run accidents.
If you want to focus on just getting better and leave the rest of the case to us, please reach out to attorney Andrew Johnson with our firm. He is here to talk with you for free, and he has experience with clients who have no health insurance. If you would like us to meet you, Andrew is able to travel around the state, from Greenville, to Columbia, to Orangeburg, to Charleston.