5 Medical Care Options for Injury Victims Without Health Insurance
Getting the medical care you need when you've been injured by someone else's negligent actions can seem impossible if you do not have health insurance. However, there are options for you. Here are 5 of those options. You should discuss these with your attorney because each option has its advantages and disadvantages.
1. Find a doctor willing to "treat on a lien". Sometimes a doctor may be willing to provide medical care for injured tort victims and hold off billing until after the case has settled. The doctor files a lien on the case proceeds and his bill is paid from the money you get at the end of the case. This is called treating on a lien. However, not very many doctors are willing to do this.
2. Sign up for Medicare or Medicaid if you are eligible. Government health plans are a good option for injury victims if you are eligible. However, the process can take a while (which is difficult if you are in pain and in need of care), and you have to repay Medicare or Medicaid a part of what they pay out of the money you get in your case.
3. Sign up for a one-time personal injury health insurance plan. There are health insurance companies that sell one-time health insurance plans to personal injury victims to cover medical care related to the injuries sustained in the negligent act. These companies are paid out of the money you get in your personal injury case and typically have top-notch doctors in their referral network. The downside is that in addition to repaying them what they paid for your medical care, you typically also pay interest.
4. Have your attorney pay a doctor to perform an independent medical exam and estimate the cost of the medical care you need. Your lawyer can pay a doctor to perform an examination to determine exactly what kind of medical care you need and how much it will cost. This can then be used as part of your settlement demand so that the responsible party can compensate you for your required future medical care. After you case has settled, you can use the money to pay for the needed medical care. The downside to this is that the doctor who the lawyer hires cannot provide medical care, he or she can only do an assessment of your injuries and medical needs. Another downside is that the projected medical costs that the examining doctor comes up with do not account for complications or other unforeseen circumstances, so you may not be getting full compensation for your medical care.
5. Work with a hospital that has options for low-income or poor patients, such as Truman Medical Center here in Kansas City. Some hospitals have programs for people who need medical care but don't have insurance. These provide 100% or close-to-100% discounts on medical care. The downside is that not everyone qualifies for these programs and you have to repay the hospital out of any money you get in your personal injury case.
If you do not have health insurance but would like to discuss the medical options available to you then you should contact a personal injury lawyer from our firm, we handle a wide variety of injury claims throughout the Kansas City area.