Medicaid is the medical insurance program for low-income residents, not to be confused with Medicare, the program for adults over the age of 65. Medicaid is taxpayer-funded, which means recipients do not have to pay a premium to receive Medicaid coverage. Each state has its own rules and regulations for Medicaid.
If you were injured in a car accident in Alabama and you are a recipient of Medicaid, you may wonder what you should do about your medical bills. At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., we can help you navigate the claims process after a car accident and ensure that you follow all the rules of Medicaid.
To learn more about what we can do for you, and answer any specific questions, contact us today by phone or online for a free claim review.
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How Medicaid Works After a Car Accident in Alabama
If you are injured after a car accident, you will have medical bills that will need to be paid. If the car accident was someone else’s fault, then that person can be held legally responsible for your expenses. Their insurance company should be the one to pay your bills.
However, insurance companies are notoriously reluctant to pay and it is very likely that you will have to fight for your deserved compensation, possibly for months or even years. Meanwhile, your medical bills still need to be paid.
If you are eligible for Medicaid, the hospital may opt to bill Medicaid for your care instead of waiting for the other party’s insurance to pay up. If Medicaid ends up paying your bills, they will often pay only the contracted rate, which is generally only 10-20% of the total. You should never be held responsible for the remainder.
Repaying Medicaid After a Car Accident
If your claim against the party that caused your car accident is eventually successful, you will have to reimburse Medicaid for the coverage of your bills. You only have to reimburse them for what they actually paid, rather than the amount originally billed.
You must pay Medicaid back immediately after receiving your settlement, whether you receive this money through a jury award or an out-of-court settlement.
Should I Use Medicaid to Pay My Hospital Bills?
The short answer is yes. Medicaid will cover your medical bills at a deeply discounted rate, ensuring that you can get the medical treatment that you need after an accident. The only potential negative aspect is that, when it comes to your claim for compensation against the at-fault party, juries are allowed to consider both the original amount of your expenses and the amount Medicaid actually ended up paying. This means it is possible that your settlement will end up being smaller than it would without using Medicaid. However, you are still likely to be able to keep much more money from your settlement for yourself if you go ahead and use your Medicaid benefits, and if you fail to win your case, your bills won’t fall to you.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Alabama, contact Morris, King & Hodge, P.C.,for help with your claim. While Medicaid takes care of your immediate medical expenses, we can investigate your accident, identify the liable parties, and build a compelling case for compensation of all of your losses.
To learn more about how we can help you after a car accident, contact us today by phone or online.
Harvey B. Morris is a lifelong Alabamian who has been practicing law in Huntsville since getting his law degree and passing the state bar in 1966.