When you get in a motor-vehicle accident, medical bills I put #2 behind loss wages as far as uh-oh – why? Because it’s something you can touch. You’ve got to give a $100 bill – unlike your pain and suffering that’s really not something you can put a finger on or something you can write a check for.
#1, your insurance company under the No-Fault law, PIP (Personal Injury Protection), pays your medical bills. There’s a $10,000 reservoir between the medical bills and wages. So when you take that ambulance ride for 500 bucks, you’ve got to send it to your insurance company.
Then you get to the hospital, you’re going to have an emergency room physician, you’re going to have x-ray techs, you’re going to have radiology, all these big words for doctor bills, and you’re going to have to send those there.
If you go to the hospital and they do surgery, guess what, the $10,000 of your PIP is gone immediately. What do we do then? We hope that you’ve got a secondary or other insurance, health insurance, Aetna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, they’ll then step in line.
And what we have to do is get an exhaustion letter that you’ve exhausted your PIP benefits. We submit that to Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, United, and then they’ll start paying – sometimes.
If they don’t, then we need to follow up and get what they need.
They may need certain forms; they may need these billing codes. There are things that we do here at the office because we do it all the time; basically we tell the client, “go to the doctor, we’ll deal with the bills.”
Some people are on Medicaid, some people are on Medicare. Medicaid’s the State of Florida. Medicare is the national. For instance, my dad, or anybody over 65 is Medicare. That also can be another level of coverage.
Finally, I kind of start looking under everything “has the guy got some VA benefits?”, “Does he have anything so he isn’t cutting a check out of his checking account?” Finally, we can create a document that says, “we’ll pay you later out of the settlement.” It’s called a Letter of Protection.
It says that, “hey Mr. Hospital, my client’s in an accident. Back off a little bit. I promise you when we settle the case, we’re going to pay you.”
And that helps the client have a little freedom that any moneys that they do get are going to be for Publix supermarket, gasoline, stuff that they really need. So we’ll get the bills paid all the time. It’s just a process, PIP, group insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, VA, whatever else is out there. Some people have private policies, Aflac, things like that. But we will get your bills paid.