If you’ve been in an auto accident in South Carolina and are facing large medical expenses, you’re probably worried about how you’ll pay the bills, make up your lost income, and get the medical treatment you need. Fortunately, the law allows you to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. Think of it this way: if someone else caused the injury, then they should be on the hook to pay for it. Of course, insurance companies are not always the best about paying claims. In fact, they often get very aggressive about refusing to pay, even without a good reason.
For those who have Medicaid, medical bills may have already been paid. So, a lot of people wonder what happens to their compensation if they settle with an insurance company. To answer this question and help with all of your Lowcountry auto accident questions, you can call any time to speak with a personal injury lawyer from the David Aylor Law Offices.
How Medicaid Works After a Car Crash in South Carolina
Say you are injured in a car crash and you go to the hospital. The hospital has a choice of billing your health insurance or trying to collect money directly from the auto insurance policy. Technically, the auto insurance policy for the person who hit you would be primary, meaning it’s supposed to pay. Of course, there’s no guarantee that it will. Many times, you and your attorney will have to fight for months or even years to obtain fair compensation. In the meantime, the healthcare provider is waiting for payment.
If the provider waits too long, Medicaid will not pay. There’s a time limit on billing Medicaid. However, the hospital will usually make more money if it is patient and waits for the auto claim to resolve. For these reasons, many hospitals and larger providers will opt to just bill Medicaid, in order to get a guaranteed payment for their services. This is often far less than they would receive if paid the full rate.
What Happens if Medicaid Pays in South Carolina?
If Medicaid pays the hospital bill, it only pays the contracted rate. This is usually just 10-20 percent of the total rate. The hospital cannot then attempt to bill you for the difference. That would defeat the purpose of Medicaid. However, should you collect money from the at-fault driver or their insurance company, you must reimburse Medicaid for all bills that it paid.
How Much Must Be Reimbursed?
You are only required to reimburse the following: The amount that Medicaid actually paid for care that is directly related to your auto accident.
If Medicaid also paid for other treatment unrelated to the accident, it cannot seek reimbursement for those expenses. Plus, in many circumstances, your attorney may be able to get Medicaid to negotiate a reduced reimbursement in order to allow you to keep more of your money from your settlement.
Talk to an Experienced Charleston, SC Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Medicaid rules are very complex and often involve both federal and state laws. If you’ve been hurt in a car wreck anywhere in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, contact the David Aylor Law Offices for experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable legal representation. Consultations are free, and we only collect if we succeed in recovering money for your injuries.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.