After a car accident or slip and fall, you are (justifiably) concerned as to how you will obtain medical treatment in the event you not have health insurance.
This article will explain the two most common ways to obtain medical treatment after an accident in the event you do not have health insurance.
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Using PIP benefits for medical treatment following an AUTO accident
Florida is a “no fault” insurance state. Florida drivers (notwithstanding motorcycles) are required to carry auto insurance that pays personal injury protection, or PIP, benefits.
Your auto insurance, through your PIP benefits, will cover 80% of your medical expenses up to the first $10,000.00 – regardless of who is at fault. Stated another way, after an auto accident, your medical provider will first bill your auto insurance– regardless of who is at fault and even if you do not have health insurance.
If you purchased medical payment (Med Pay) coverage through your auto insurance, your Med Pay would cover the remaining 20% of your medical expenses up to the first $10,000.00 and then “kick in” in the event you exhaust PIP. If you have health insurance, this insurance will “kick in” after PIP/Med Pay is exhausted, unless you and your medical provider agree to treat on a letter of protection.
The Letter of Protection for after a car accident or slip and fall
In the event you:
- exhausted PIP
- have an out-of-state policy that does not require PIP
- do not own a vehicle and cannot access another individual’s PIP coverage: (a) you were a passenger in a vehicle, (b) you were a pedestrian/cyclists, (c) you were driving a friend’s vehicle with their permission, (d) you were living with a relative (blood or spouse) who owns a car
- were involved in a slip and fall, you can receive medical treatment through a letter of protection (LOP)
A letter of protection (LOP) is a contract between you and the medical provider to allow you to receive medical care you otherwise would not be able to afford. Upon the conclusion of your personal injury case, your personal injury attorney will pay for your medical treatment with the proceeds from a settlement or verdict.
The medical provider will not accept a letter of protection (LOP) from you unless you have a personal injury attorney. The medical provider should not send any outstanding bills to collections after the execution of the LOP as they have assurance their medical bill is protected.
You will be responsible for payment in the event you do not receive any funds from which payment can be made.
Personal injury attorneys should be very careful to ensure that there is adequate bodily injury (BI), uninsured motorist (UM), or commercial general liability (CGL) coverage to satisfy your medical care.
It is very common for certain doctors – such as chiropractors, pain management doctors, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists and neurosurgeons – to accept LOPs in car accident and slip and fall cases.