In today’s episode Chuck explains why the hospital will ask for the other driver’s insurance information after an accident.
Chuck, my wife was recently in a car accident. She went to the hospital and the hospital administrators (the people who made me fill out all of the forms) were insisting that she give the other driver’s insurance information instead of just her health insurance. What is the deal with that?
Well they are trying to make more money. The reason that I am saying that is because they are making a lot of assumptions. First, that the accident was the other person’s fault. Two, the other person had insurance. Three, that the other person had enough insurance to cover their bill. Instead of billing your health insurance, because presumably they have a contract, let’s assume it is one of the hospitals here and they have a contract with United Healthcare. They know that they are going to get more money for the services rendered if they reach into your settlement proceeds (which by law they can do.) But that is the way that they play this game. The assumptions are crazy, because you could be wheeled in there on a stretcher, it could have been totally your fault, and they’re asking for this information instead of billing United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, or something. That is how they try to make more money on these deals.
You need to insist that one, they take your health insurance information. Two, that they bill your health insurance. Quite frankly I’m not really sure that it is their business as to whether you even have that other driver’s insurance information to be able to give that to them. This has become somewhat of a major pain in the rear for me because I see clients who have great health insurance and they have never been billed. I wonder why, and after going in the hospital had somehow gotten all of the information from the bad guy driver, maybe from the police office who showed up with you when you were wheeled into the hospital. But then they start billing them, but they don’t have to pay.
Until a court, or let’s say a jury after a trial says “We have a judgement against this bad person who caused the accident” that insurance carrier doesn’t have to pay out a penny. So they aren’t going to pay your hospital bills and if they don’t then they are eventually going to go into collections and you’re going to wonder “Why wasn’t my health insurance paying this?” and you’re going to find out that they were never billed.
I have seen so much of this in the last year and it is wrong. You insist (assuming you are capable of insisting physically) that they bill your health insurance company. I don’t see where there is any obligation where you have to give them the other driver’s insurance information. Or your own car insurance information for that matter. It is just the health insurance and you sign off on a financial responsibility form that says your health insurance is going to pay for it or that you’re going to pay your copay and deductibles things like that.
If you give them all of the information from the other driver’s automobile insurance they try billing them even though I have explained to the billing people that is not where they need to go. But they are thinking that they are going to make more money by reaching into your settlement proceeds and taking money out of what amounts to your pocket and billing more than they would have collected from your health insurance carrier.
Does that make sense?