Can my health insurer file a lien against my case?
You’ll have to look at the terms of your policy, but the answer is likely, yes. You can be required to repay your health insurer for expenses they paid which were covered in your settlement. It is essential that you retain copies of all receipts for medical bills you paid along with statements from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and therapists. You should also retain all statements and explanations of benefits (EOBs) you get from your health insurer. Your attorney needs to account for all medical expenses so that you can be reimbursed for your deductibles and co-pays, and your health insurer can be reimbursed for benefits it paid. If you are on Medicare or Medi-Cal, or if workers’ compensation pays your medical bills, those entities would want to be reimbursed as well out of your settlement.
If you don’t have health insurance or don’t want to have to repay them, you may be able to get treated by doctors who will refrain from billing you and instead take their fees from your settlement. This process is called a medical lien. At McReynolds Vardanyan LLP, we can refer you to doctors who will treat you on a lien basis, or we may be able to negotiate a letter of protection with your doctor so that you can get the medical care you need without paying out-of-pocket.