Updated June 27, 2020
Yes, your settlement amount may be affected if insurance covers all or part of your medical expenses. Insurance companies and healthcare providers can issue a lien against your settlement proceeds, which can lower the amount you receive in a settlement.
If an entity files a lien against your case, that entity has demanded reimbursement out of your settlement for the money it spent covering expenses after an injury.
A medical lien is a demand for repayment that can be placed against the compensatory outcome of your malpractice case. In other words, the hospital that paid for your medical expenses can demand those costs be reimbursed out of the amount you receive from your settlement.
Healthcare providers typically withhold from billing patients who are pursuing personal injury claims. They do so under the condition that the injured party will pay the claim with their settlement amount.
Liens can take several forms. They can be contained within a health insurance policy; many healthcare providers ask uninsured patients to sign a lien agreement upon treatment. Liens can also be filed against a patient following a personal injury or medical malpractice claim.
You have an obligation to satisfy the lien by paying it out of your settlement. Insurance companies often seek reimbursement for medical costs directly from the settlement, a process called subrogated interest.
The amount taken out of the settlement is dependent upon the nature of the costs fronted by an insurance company or healthcare provider and the nature of the lien. Many liens are negotiable, and even disputable. Hospitals often agree to accept less than the full lien amount, waiving the balance owed.
In the state of Indiana, liens cannot be filed against someone who is receiving Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice and are unsure of how your health insurance will affect your lawsuit, you are urged to contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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