Personal Injury Lawyer in DC
If you have been in injured in an accident, you may be receiving medical bills that are greatly inflated and sometimes even illegal. The practice, known as balance billing, involves invoicing patients for the difference between what the healthcare provider bills and what the insurance company pays. Many states have laws against balance billing, and a federal law bans it altogether for Medicare patients. A good personal injury lawyer, like Cohen & Cohen, can fight for compensation, but are the medical bills themselves legal?
Unfortunately, laws surrounding balance billing are often complicated. The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a handy chart that documents which states prohibit balance billing. The laws, however, vary based on whether the provider is in-network, out-of-network, an HMO, or a PPO.
If you believe you have been illegally balance billed, first contact the healthcare provider. Explain why you believe you have been balance billed. Although the situation may be stressful, remain calm and remember that it may be a billing error. If you cannot resolve things with your insurance provider, contact your insurance company and explain the issue to them. They may be able to intervene on your behalf and remedy the situation. Finally, you can complain to your state’s board of medicine. Also, contact your state’s Department of Insurance and file a report.
Sometimes balance billing is legal, especially if your healthcare provider is considered out-of-network. In these cases, you may be able to negotiate. If a medical bill has given you sticker shock, contact the healthcare provider first. Ask for an itemized bill and carefully examine all of the charges. Often extra charges are added in for products or services you may not have used.
If you have been balance-billed legally, contact your healthcare provider and attempt to negotiate the bill. They may be willing to settle for far less than they have charged initially. If you can, offer to pay a portion of the bill immediately in order to settle the account. If you cannot, you may be able to negotiate a reasonable payment plan.
Perhaps you chose an out-of-network provider due to extenuating circumstances. If this is the case, consider contacting your insurance company. Based on your situation, they may reconsider and cover the services as in-network care.
Medical bills can be overwhelming, and the bills incurred as a result of an accident can be devastating. If you have incurred injury and medical bills due to the negligence of another, you must contact a powerful personal injury attorney to handle your case. Call on the personal injury lawyers who will fight for all you deserve- contact Cohen & Cohen today!