Part of our Personal Injury Thursdays series

Medical bills can be difficult, especially when they are from a motor vehicle accident injury. Payments made for your injuries may result in a lien asserted by your own Health Insurance Plan. This is for an accident in which you were found not at fault. What is a lien, you might ask? If your Health Insurance Plan paid the bill and expects to be reimbursed upon settlement, that is called a lien. Medicare, Medicaid/MaineCare or ERISA/private health insurance company may pay the lien. Is the medical treatment due to an accident which is the fault of another? If so, Medicare, Medicaid (MaineCare) and most Health Insurance Plans require that the beneficiary/claimant notify the plan. For example, if you broke your arm in a Motor Vehicle Accident and someone else is at fault, that person (or their insurer) would be responsible for the cost of treating your broken arm. However, it could take a while to settle and have the responsible party (or their insurer) pay, so Health Insurance Plans will usually pay the medical bills and then inform you that they have a lien on a future settlement for the bills from treating your broken arm. It is important to make sure any settlement or resolution of your claim includes settling the Health Insurance Lien as well as any other outstanding medical bills related to the accident.

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