If you received medical treatment at a hospital, urgent care, or doctor's office after a car accident, you may receive a "Patient Incident Questionnaire" from a company called the Firm of Meyer Christian & Associates.
So who is Meyer Christian?
Located at 15151 Springdale Street in Huntington Beach, California, Meyer Christian contracts with health insurance plans and medical providers to help them get paid from people injured in car accidents.
Medical Reimbursement After a Car Accident
When you have health insurance, if you need to go to the Emergency Room or get seen by a doctor, your health insurance pays the bill, and you as the patient may owe a co-pay or your deductible. Once you've paid your patient responsibility, you should not owe anything more.
However, things work differently in the personal injury context. The terms of just about every health insurance policy provide that if the reason why you need medical treatment is due to some other person causing you to be injured, and you receive compensation for those injuries, then your health plan has the right to be reimbursed out of the money you receive for what they paid for your medical treatment.
Here is some sample health insurance policy language from Blue Shield:
"If a Member is injured or becomes ill due to the act or omission of another person (a 'third party'), Blue Shield, the Member's designated medical group, or the IPA shall, with respect to services required as a result of that injury, provide the benefits of the Plan and have an equitable right to restitution, reimbursement or other available remedy to recover the amounts Blue Shield paid for services provided to the Member from any recovery obtained by or on behalf of the Member, from or on behalf of the third party responsible for the injury or illness or from uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage."
In short, if someone else caused your injuries and you receive money as a result, even if that money comes from your own auto insurance policy, then the health insurance company is entitled to be reimbursed for what they paid for your medical treatment.
Who does Meyer Christian work for?
Meyer Christian ("MCA") has contracted with many health insurance medical groups and healthcare providers in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino) for reimbursement. MCA's clients include, among others:
Meyer Christian charges its clients a contingency fee, meaning how much money Meyer Christian gets paid depends on how much money Meyer Christian recovers for its client.
What should you do if Meyer Christian contacts you?
If you receive a letter or phone call from Meyer Christian after a car accident or other personal injury matter, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before responding. Meyer Christian may ask you to sign documents that give them access to your private health information protected by HIPAA laws. Signing these documents may waive your privacy or limit your rights. Costa Mesa car accident attorney Blaise Patzkowski provides free consultations for people who are contacted by Meyer Christian or other health insurance reimbursement companies after a car accident. He can be reached at (949) 342-5120.
An attorney who is experienced in health insurance reimbursement can review the exact language in your health plan to determine whether your health plan has a valid right to be reimbursed. If your health plan does have a right to reimbursement, it is important to make sure that your health plan is not paid back any more than they are legally entitled to, including for medical treatment that is not required as a result of a car accident.
Additionally, an attorney can leverage the law to reduce a "lien" asserted by a health plan. For instance, California Civil Code section 3040 provides a basis to reduce health care liens. This means that your health insurance may not be entitled to be reimbursed the full amount they paid for your medical treatment, but instead a reduced amount based upon specified legal standards. An Orange County personal injury attorney well-versed in these laws can help to ensure that you are paying back your health insurance only what is legally required. When a lower amount of your settlement is being paid back to your health insurance, you receive more money from your settlement.
Costa Mesa car accident lawyer Blaise Patzkowski is an advocate for the rights of people injured in car accidents, bike accidents, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and across California. Mr. Patzkowski is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Hastings College of the Law. He has recovered many millions of dollars for people injured in car accidents, and has significant experience analyzing health insurance subrogation clauses and negotiating reductions in reimbursements when owed. If you or your family member was hurt in a car, bicycle, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident, please contact Mr. Patzkowski.
Disclaimer: The information here is general information that should not be taken as legal advice. It cannot be guaranteed to be accurate, current or complete. No attorney-client relationship is established between you and our law firm by reading this article. This article should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer about the specific facts of your case.