What Happens if Medicare/Medicaid Pays Medical Bills After an Alaska Car Accident?


Despite public awareness campaigns and other efforts to reduce the frequency of car accidents throughout the US, statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that there is still far to go. Every year, more than 32,000 people are killed and another 2 million are injured in auto collisions. While private medical insurance will cover the costs of treatment for many of these victims, others will receive care through their Medicare or Medicaid coverage. If this describes your situation, you probably have the same question as many other victims: “What are my rights if Medicare/Medicaid pays medical bills after an auto crash?”

It may come as some relief to know that your legal remedies will not change in such a situation, unless you make critical errors that harm your rights. To avoid the risk of mistakes, you should trust an Alaska motor vehicle accidents attorney to represent you. Still, it may help to review some answers to common questions about Medicare/Medicaid coverage of auto crash medical bills.


What Happens With Medicare/Medicaid After an Auto collision?

When you seek treatment from a doctor who accepts these government medical programs, he or she may send the bill for your care directly to Medicare or Medicaid. In such a situation, health care providers receive a reduced rate for their services instead of the full amount. A physician who knows the source of your injuries and understands your circumstances may decide not to bill Medicare or Medicaid for this reason. Your doctor has a better chance of receiving payment in full by collecting through an insurance claim.


Am I Required to Use Medicare or Medicaid to Pay Medical Bills?

You are not obligated to use government coverage to pay for medical care, but these programs may be a smart choice if you qualify. You are not responsible for paying the difference between what Medicare/Medicaid covers and the total amount due. Your treating physicians would not come to you for payment, so you avoid a past due account and collection efforts.


Do I Need to Reimburse the Government?

If you were injured because of someone else’s carelessness, you still need to pay back any amounts paid by Medicare/Medicaid. These funds come out of tax dollars, so it is not fair to put the taxpayers on the hook for another person’s negligence. However, you do not reimburse the government in the way that you expect. Whatever you owe, based upon the reduced Medicare/Medicaid rate, comes out of what you receive as a settlement or through litigation.


Should I Retain an Alaska Auto Accident Lawyer?

In short, yes. You will have an easier time throughout the legal process when you have an attorney to assist with complicated Medicare/Medicaid rules. Plus, regardless of how your bills are paid, you gain an advantage when you have an experienced lawyer to represent you in connection with a car crash. Our team at Power & Power Law is prepared to assist with all stages of your case, so please contact our Anchorage, Alaska offices today to set up a free consultation.