North Carolina’s Bill vs. Paid Law

North Carolina’s Bill vs. Paid Law

North Carolina's “Bill vs. Paid” law has now gone into effect. The law provides that an auto accident or other personal injury claims and lawsuits, evidence of medical expenses shall be limited to evidence of the amount actually paid to satisfy the bills. So, for example, your hospital bill might be $10,000, but the bill would be satisfied once your health insurance pays $2,000, you pay a $500 deductible and a $50 copay. So under the old law, the law would say you had incurred a $10,000 hospital bill. Under the new law, you have incurred a $2,550 hospital bill. Basically, the at-fault driver or insurance company gets the benefit of your health insurance.

This law provides substantial benefits to auto insurance companies. Some insurance companies, such as Progressive, are already requiring claimants in auto accidents to sign affidavits stating they have filed their health insurance.

The law is not so popular with hospitals and health insurance companies. Hospitals and doctor’s offices do not like to file health insurance when injuries result from auto accidents. Some are downright refusing to file health insurance, especially if the insurance is Medicaid or Medicare. This can be a challenge. What do you do if Liberty Mutual refuses to settle with you until your health insurance/Medicaid/Medicare has been filed, but the hospital refuses to file? There are many answers to this, but none of them is a silver bullet.

The law is also not so popular with many injured people. Many do not feel like they should file their health insurance. Clients often tell me, “Why should my health insurance pay for something that was someone else’s fault?” Unless the law is changed, however, claimants should be prepared to have to ensure their health insurance is filed with most providers or they will be unable to settle their personal injury claims.

If you've been involved in an auto accident where you think this applies to you, it's very important that you contact a lawyer.

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