Many car insurance policies offer $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection for injuries and medical care for drivers injured in car collisions. Many drivers pay substantial amounts for their policies and so often assume that in the event of a car crash in Hollywood or their communities their insurance provider will take care of them.
In many cases, it is a rude awakening when they discover that $10 000 in coverage will cover only some imaging scans and will not even cover the diagnostic testing after a serious car accident — much less treatment.
Rising Medical Costs
Part of the problem, experts say, is the high cost of health care in South Florida and across the country. MRIs and other scans can cost thousands of dollars each and a doctor may order several tests. A hospital stay can cost tens of thousands of dollars – without treatment and other services added in.
Some experts claim that some hospitals may be inflating costs for their services, however. In some cases, hospitals have been accused of charging many times what Medicare covers for medical services. A lawsuit filed in Florida this year claims that one group of hospitals charges 65 times the cost Medicare covers in medical services. The legal claim alleges that the hospitals charge more for PIP covered patients after an accident than they do for patients with no insurance at all. The hospitals involved in the case have sought to have the lawsuit dismissed.
In 2012, there were reforms to PIP after legislators argued that Florida’s rate of insurance fraud was too high. As a result of the reforms, benefits for non-emergency services after a car accident were slashed to $2500. Among the other changes made were new limits as to who could administer health care under PIP benefits.
Drivers are required by law to have PIP coverage but in the event of a crash they may end up paying over 20% of their premiums for $10 000 in benefits. This coverage is available no matter who was at fault. The problem, according to some health care professionals, is that the $10 000 benefits is based on an outdated idea of what medical services cost. Healthcare in general is getting more expensive, and $10 000 covers very little care.
Patients Covering the Gap
Of course, whatever PIP and insurance does not cover may be left for the injured patient to pay. Some patients have medical coverage from work or private health insurance that can help them pay for medical emergencies. Some do not. In these cases, it is not unusual for patients to be billed tens of thousands of dollars or even more than $100 000 for treatment, a debt that can be a huge financial burden for virtually all households.
Have you been injured in a car accident in Hollywood or anywhere in Florida? Are you worried about high medical costs and insurance benefits? Contact Flaxman Law Group now for a free consultation. Our law firm’s principal, Charles Flaxman, worked for ten years in the insurance industry before devoting his life to the law. He understands how the insurance process works from both sides and can use this knowledge when negotiating for the fairest benefits for you. If you need help making sense of the claims process or would like to know how much your potential claim may be worth, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case review.