This is the first of a series of posts noting how Arizona injury victims keep getting screwed. The main culprit is the Arizona legislature, doing the dirty work of insurance companies and the health care lobby.
If someone in Arizona is the victim of an automobile crash, they will later be victimized by the health care providers that treated them. It does not matter if you have health insurance. If the insurance pays the provider the agreed upon rate for services, the provider can come after your injury award for the difference between what they billed the insurer and what the insurer paid. However, the providers don’t have to bill your insurer and can, instead, bill their entire amount against your award.
This creates further issues when you consider that certain types of insurers are also entitled to be repaid for amounts they pay out for injury-related care. It does not take an economist to realize that the injured victim will have to compensate the health care providers for every penny billed. On its face this seems reasonable; however, most Arizona drivers who cause crashes carry minimum insurance ($15,000). So, an injury victim who goes to the hospital for evaluation will have to pay the hospital providers approximately $6,000 from the $15,000, after already paying the hospital hundreds of dollars to obtain medical records to support the claim. After paying attorneys fees and costs, the victim is left with barely enough money to buy an Apple Macbook Pro.