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Don Jacobs
Don Jacobs
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Lien Reductions. Do I really have to pay the stated bill?

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Being involved in a car accident is usually an unpleasant experience. In addition to the pain and disruption it brings, the injuries can require extensive medical treatment. Trips to the hospital, ambulance rides, therapy and visits to your physician can all add up to a hefty sum. If you are one of the forty million Americans without medical insurance, this can pose problems. Although most doctors, hospitals, and testing facilities are manned by reasonable people, they need to generate income in order to survive as a business. Without insurance, many will refuse to provide care. However, some physicians may be willing to provide treatment if you allow a lien to be placed upon your recovery. A lien is basically an I.O.U. When you’ve been involved in an accident and it wasn’t your fault, medical providers often understand you will be compensated for your injuries at some point. A lien is a right to recover the value of the medical services from any recovery you obtain. Liens enable injured people to get the care they need and they ensure the medical providers they’ll be reimbursed out of the proceeds when the case is resolved. Unfortunately, at times not enough money is recovered from the negligent driver. You may find the driver carried inadequate coverage. Sometimes multiple accident victims are making claims against the same liability policy. In these situations, the physician or hospital that took a lien or promise to pay needs to be contacted to inquire about a reduction. While inadequate funds is not a legal defense to a medical bill, many physicians are willing to negotiate if not enough money is available to pay all of the bills. Sometimes a pro-rata reduction can be agreed upon. A physician may also agree to accept the reduced insurance rate. The problem arises more often than anyone would like to see, particularly with the very high cost of medical care. This fact alone is the reason purchasing underinsured motorist coverage is such a wise idea.

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  1. Mike Bryant says:
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    Very good and helpful advice.