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Why does the physical therapist in my personal injury case not want to bill health insurance?

It was a beautiful morning. You left your house ready for a great day. Like thousands of other people around Huntsville and across northern Alabama, you were driving to work or school. Maybe you were thinking about your plans for the day as you drove down the road.

In a split second, everything changes. Another car slams into your vehicle. Crash! Metal crunches around you! Your day goes from good to terrible in an instant. Suddenly, you are dazed and dealing with a chaotic accident scene. Now, you face several difficult issues. A damage car. Missed work. Pain. Medical appointments. You are hurting and struggling to make it through the day.

You see your doctor. He thinks physical therapy might help. So, you see a local physical therapist. When you get to the therapist’s office, you show your health insurance card. If you are like thousands upon thousands of other people in Alabama, you probably show your Blue Cross and Blue Shield card. But, the billing person at the physical therapy clinic does not want to take it! What? Instead, the billing person suggests you sign some papers so the therapist can collect the charges from your later car accident settlement. The physical therapist does not want to bill your health insurance.

The billing clerk says she just needs the contact information for the adjusters or lawyers. No co-pays when I see the therapist. Sounds good. No need to deal with Blue Cross. Sounds good. No payments until later? Sounds good. The billing clerk makes it sound like this is just the way things are normally done. This sounds like a good deal but it’s probably NOT. Let me say it again — If you have health insurance, this is probably NOT a good deal for you in the long run.

Why does the physical therapist not want to bill health insurance? Here’s the real reason — Your health insurance company gets a discount on the bill. You do not. Sometimes, it’s a big discount. Let’s say the physical therapy bill is $2000.00. Your health insurer may pay much less to satisfy fully the bill. If you don’t use health insurance (or don’t have health insurance), you’ll be paying the full sticker price. That can be much, much higher. The medical clinic know this and thinks it can collect more from your car case settlement.

When you settle a Huntsville car accident case, you will likely have to pay somebody for the bill. If Blue Cross pays the charges, it may want money back from your settlement. If the medical clinic waits, it will want money from your settlement. The difference is how much! Will it be the lower amount paid by Blue Cross to satisfy the bill? Will it be the higher amount initially charged by the clinic? If the medical clinic thinks you have a claim against the at-fault driver, it can often make more by waiting.

Of course, the medical billing clerk tells you none of this. The clerk makes it sound like the normal way of doing business. If you hired a settlement mill lawyer, he won’t explain it either. Most settlement mill lawyers won’t take the time to actually help their clients navigate the system. You have options. An experienced and dedicated Huntsville car accident lawyer should take the time to help you recover the maximum amount for your claim.

What should you do if you have health insurance? If you have health insurance, politely insist the clinic bill it. When you eventually settle your case, you may be paying back a lot less to Blue Cross than you would the medical clinic. If you don’t have any health insurance, then you can consider making a deal with the medical clinic to collect from your claim at settlement. In every case, you need to consider the best options for your unique injury and unique situation.

Medical billing can be confusing. Who should pay the medical bills? How should the medical bills be paid? These issues can tremendously impact your net recovery. If you suffered a serious accident and injury, talk to an experienced Huntsville car accident lawyer about your options. Get the advice and answers you need to maximize your physical and financial recovery following a serious car accident.