The Impact of Obamacare on Personal Injury Claims
The new Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act will likely have a large impact on many personal injury claims.
Before Obamacare is fully implemented, hospitals use different tiers for their charges. One tier has been for the uninsured patients and the other tier is negotiated rates with health insurance companies and Medicare. Why does this matter? Well, in real life instances a medical procedure can cost $50,000 but the patient’s health insurance company is charged $10,000. The uninsured patient is out of luck, as she will have to foot the $50,000 charge rather than benefit from any already negotiated rate.
Often enough, a hospital does not want to settle for the reduced rate, refusing to submit the bills to the health insurance company to obtain the full, much higher amount from the patient.
On my reading, the new Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act will probably limit that problem in many cases. A provision of the Act, 26 USC section 501(r)(5) will apply and help many personal injury clients. Section 501(r)(5) requires any hospital that seeks 501(c)(3) non-profit status to limit the amounts it charges to patients eligible for assistance under the hospital’s financial assistance policy to no more than the amounts the hospital “generally billed to individuals who have insurance covering such care.”
The new Affordable Care Act will protect injured patients, allowing them to keep a larger portion of the funds that they receive for their claims.