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If you are seeking treatment for injuries obtained in an accident and your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is exhausted, you need to know what your options are as far as paying for treatment. In Utah, the at-fault party’s insurance will not pay as you go—meaning they will not pay for your medical bills until you are completely done with the treatment and the case is settled. If you need extensive treatment, this means it can be months or even years before your medical bills are paid for through the at-fault party’s insurance. You need to make sure that your medical bills are taken care of or they can go to collections and negatively affect your credit. The Advocates can help you figure out how to make sure your bills do not go to collections and that your credit and finances are protected.
After your PIP is exhausted, you can opt to use your health insurance, which is the next best option. However, if your health insurance has a high deductible that you cannot pay right now or if you do not have health insurance, there is another option: provider liens. A provider lien means that the provider will wait until the case is settled to receive payment and will not send you to the collections in the meantime.
An example of when a lien is helpful:
You went to the emergency room in an ambulance the day of the accident. The doctor recommended you see a chiropractor for 4-6 weeks. Your PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage went entirely to the ambulance and emergency room bill. Your health insurance does not cover chiropractic treatment. Instead of paying the chiropractor every time you go in, the Advocates can set up a lien so that when the case settles, a portion of the settlement money will be given to the chiropractor to pay your outstanding medical bill. Thanks to the lien, your bill with the chiropractor will be on hold until you finished with all your accident-related treatment and the case has settled.
The Advocates work with many providers who are willing to do liens, including chiropractors and physical therapists. To set one up, the attorney, healthcare professional and you, the patient, must sign a lien agreement document. When you sign the lien, you promise to pay your outstanding bills to the healthcare professional, regardless of the outcome of your case. The attorney agrees to make sure the provider is paid from the settlement money. Not all providers are willing to set up liens and wait for the case to settle for payment, however. You will need to ask your provider what their policy is on liens to find out if they accept them. If they will not, most providers ask that you set up a monthly payment plan if you are not able to pay your medical bill in full.
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