Some of my clients, frequently after car accidents, don’t have health insurance. They are concerned they can’t receive medical treatment and see a doctor despite having serious injuries. In California, many uninsured injured claimants can be treated on a lien basis. This means that you do not need to have medical insurance or to pay up front or at the time of treatment. Rather, the medical provider will provide treatment and wait to be paid after your personal injury case is settled to be paid. In exchange for waiting, you will sign a lien against your recovery in your personal injury case so the doctor is assured that they will be paid out of any settlement in your case.
Lien basis medical treatment can be beneficial because your medical bills will be paid by the person who was at fault in causing your injuries, or their insurance carrier. The potential drawback is that the doctors typically charge more than they would receive from health insurance or a cash-pay patient because of the delay in getting paid and risk of not being paid if your claim is not successful. It is important to speak to a lawyer to make sure there is sufficient insurance coverage before too much lien treatment is obtained.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss if you need medical treatment after an accident but don’t have health insurance.