Waiting on Medicaid: Personal Injury Claims and Medicaid
When you’re injured in North Carolina due to someone else’s negligence, you should use your health insurance – whatever it is! You can’t rely on anyone else to pay your bills up front, so use your health insurance!
When your health insurance is Medicaid, that’s a good thing and a bit of a bad thing (but not too bad). Let me explain…
Medicaid is great in that it pays for your health care and keeps you out of collections, which is fantastic on both fronts. Huzzah!
Medicaid causes a bit of a problem though in that Medicaid has a right of reimbursement from third party claims. What that means is if Medicaid pays your health care costs and you get money from someone else (the “third party” noted above) to reimburse you for those costs, then you have to pay Medicaid back.
That’s not the end of the world. You would normally have to pay at least part (if not all) of your outstanding medical expenses from your settlement anyway. And it actually helps to have Medicaid in this instance because of Medicaid’s steep discount; they only pay pennies on the dollar for your treatment, so instead of a $1000 bill paid in full, you might be able to pay about $300 to Medicaid. Not bad.
The major drawback to having Medicaid in a personal injury case is the TIME that it takes. You see, you have to wait for Medicaid to tell you how much they want back from your settlement. And it being what it is, it takes FOREVER for them to get back to you. They ask for 6 weeks to respond, but it’s normally more like 8+. And on top of that, that number is only good for 30 days, so if you don’t get the case settled and disbursed in that time period, you have to request an update, which will probably take another month or two. Ugh.
Overall, Medicaid is great. It’s good that it pays your bills, and when you pay them back it’s heavily discounted. But it creates a time suck on your case that can be a drag. Just be aware and be as patient, but as persistent, as you can. And get a good attorney. Call me at 919-929-2992.
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