Why Do I Have to Pay Back My Insurance Company for Medical Bills?
I get this question all the time, and it’s a good question.
You pay health insurance premiums for years. Obviously, you pay them so that if you get sick or get hurt the insurance company will pay your medical bills. Usually, that system works just fine, except that the premiums are too expensive (don’t get me started on that one!).
The problem arises when you get hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence, and you pursue a claim against that person or company. In that case, your health insurance company wants to be paid back for the medical bills it paid for your accident out of any money you receive in your lawsuit.
How can that happen? As I said, you paid your premiums for this exact scenario, how can they get your money from you? The truth is that it boils down to one simple thing – the insurance companies have more control over the legal system than do people who are injured. I know you find that shocking, but it’s true.
What the insurance companies have done is convince politicians to pass laws in the United States Congress and and in state legislatures that allow them to recover from you any money they paid for medical bills, if you recover money in a lawsuit or claim against the party that hurt you. These companies have also convinced judges to interpret these laws in their favor as much as possible. (Don’t get me started on the politics of the judicial system either!) They have also inserted clauses in all their insurance policies that allows them to get paid back if you recover money. Try getting one of those taken out next time you buy insurance. Good luck.
In some cases, there are ways around these laws and contract provisions. In other cases, we can get the insurance companies to reduce the amount they claim. But, the law is not always on your side and in may cases we’ll have to end up paying back some of your medical bills.
Maybe one day someone will wake up and realize how unfair this is. Until then, we’ll keep doing what we can to minimize the amount that insurance companies get back from your recovery.