What Is A Letter Of Protection?
Many injured people will need a “letter of protection” in order to assist them in paying for medical treatments and care that in any other situation they would not be able to afford. Due to severe financial hardship that would occur if faced with paying for medical treatments out of pocket, many injured people will seek this option as a tool to receive treatment in a timely manner.
The primary case for a “letter of protection” comes about due to injuries suffered as a result of an automobile accident. Most people are unaware that medical insurance policies will generally refuse to pay for medical procedures incurred as a result of an automobile accident, and expect you as the patient to contact the automobile insurance carrier of the responsible party as a result. The issue with the situation is that automobile insurance carriers will generally expect you to pay for your own medical care ongoing, then submit all incurred bills at once so that they can offer a single payment as settlement. Even though treatments can go on for months or even years, the patient is still expected by the automobile insurance carrier to front the costs until the case be be resolved with a single payment. Most people simply do not have the money to pay for ongoing treatments, and doctors will sometimes refuse to treat a patient via their medical insurance policy if the injuries were sustained as a result of a car accident. Many doctors will go as far as to post a sign in their offices stating “payment is expected at the time of treatment.”
A person who has no medical insurance or who does not have the funds to pay for ongoing treatments because their doctor will not accept their medical insurance needs to secure a “letter of protection.” By definition, a “letter of protection” is a document sent by an attorney to a medical provider which guarantees that the costs of treatment will be covered by the patient out of any future settlement that is secured. In the case of a judgment, the attorney responsible for drafting the letter will make sure that payment for treatment is received by the doctor from the settlement. In the case that there is no settlement, the contractual agreement allows the doctor the right to pursue the full bill as any debt.
Another use of a “letter of protection” is to delay the collection efforts resulting from a previously incurred bill. In a case where an injured person has received treatment and the bills were submitted to their medical insurance carrier and subsequently refused due to the injuries being sustained as a result of an automobile accident, the injured party can use a letter of protection in order to delay collection activities against them personally which could impact their credit or substantially harm their finances. The letter of protection allows the potential settlement of the case to take its course and provide funding of the treatments from the settlement amount instead of the person sustaining the damage of being forced to immediately pay out of pocket.
The financing involved in “letters of protection” involves a complicated mix of legal principals and contractual obligations as well as legitimate parties seeking payments for services rendered. If you have been involved in a case where a ‘letter of protection’ is necessary, or you are an attorney or medical provider involved in a case with a letter of protection, contact Med-Care Solutions today to discuss your financing options.
Dr. Kamran Abdo