In today’s episode Chuck explains what Medical Liens could mean to your legal settlement. He also goes over why you shouldn’t worry about them outside of a settlement.
Hello Friends. This question seems to come up quite often lately.
In a situation where you are in a car accident, let’s say – or a motorcycle accident. Your health insurance pays a portion of your hospital bill, your anesthesiologist if you have surgery, or your services bill. Those people (the healthcare providers) can then file what is called a medical lien.
Those medical liens are for the balance between the price paid by your health insurance carrier (which is generally heavily discounted) – let’s say United Healthcare and the “street price” or the cash price if you will for that medical expense. Let’s say its ten dollars for an x-ray and your insurance company pays it, you don’t owe them anything more. But if I walk in off the street it’s one hundred dollars because I’m a cash paying person, so I give them one hundred dollars. There is a difference of ninety bucks. That difference for all of the services could be filed in medical liens.
These medical liens are not against your assets or anything . But it is against the proceeds of a personal injury settlement. So that ninety bucks has to be paid out of your settlement proceeds back to the medical provider. I just want you to be clear, if some reason the case goes sideways and you never collect anything, that ninety dollars is not owed by you.
It is only a lien against your settlement proceeds. Not against your house, not against your credit, and not against you obviously. (Or your wages or anything else.) It is just against your settlement proceeds.
Those medical liens are all negotiable and once they are paid off obviously they are paid in full. By your lawyer (by me) and it’s going to be “pennies on the dollar” or at least a percentage of what the actual difference is between the two.
Once it is paid, it is paid. They can’t come after you for an additional sum of money or anything else. That does not include co-pays or deductibles. That is completely separate and that is money out of your pocket.
I hope that explains it, especially since I’ve had so many phone calls in the last 30 days relative to that.