How long can I receive med pay benefits?

It’s important to note that medical payments coverage is provided for a limited period of time, typically one to three years from the date of injury. Insurance companies impose time limits on medical payments for a couple of reasons: (1) the insurer wants to know what the total payments will be in a reasonable amount of time, and (2) after a number of years, it may become difficult to determine whether the treatment requested is for the covered injury or for a later-occurring injury that is not covered.

Lastly, keep in mind that med pay is additional coverage that must specifically be purchased by you. It is not required by law, and you do not automatically have med pay coverage simply by virtue of your having a liability policy.

If I don’t have health insurance or med pay insurance, how do I pay for my medical treatment prior to settling my claim?

If you do not have med pay and you are not covered under any health insurance policy, other options  are available to cover medical expenses prior to receiving a settlement.

➤ Self Pay. Self pay means you pay for the medical care out of pocket. This option is usually not realistic for most individuals, given the high cost of medical care.

➤ Doctors’ Liens. Some doctors will treat a patient and allow the deferral of payment of the medical care until such time as you recover money from the liable driver. This is called rendering treatment on a “lien”. Under this circumstance, the doctor will require you and your attorney to sign a statement granting the doctor a lien on all proceeds received in settlement or by verdict from the liable driver’s insurance company. A lien is a legal agreement in which you agree with the doctor or hospital that they will wait for payment rather than pursuing collections against you. In return, you promise that when you receive a settlement, you will pay them first and up front before you pocket a penny yourself and you promise to repay the doctor even in the event there is no recovery on your claim.  This is a somewhat technical process and often requires an attorney’s cooperation with a doctor’s office, but it is something that could be explored with the billing department at your doctor's office or the hospital.

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