Who Pays the Costs of Uninsured Patients in Florida?
Thanks to a 1985 federal law, whenever an uninsured or underinsured patient shows up at a hospital in need of certain medical care, the hospital is obligated to provide lifesaving and essential medical treatment to that patient regardless of that patient’s ability to pay for those services. However, as the old adage goes, “There is no such thing as a free lunch” – or, in this case, free medical care. This is true in cases involving both uninsured patients and uninsured motorists.
A Relevant Question for Lawmakers
The question of who pays for uninsured patients’ expenses is especially relevant considering the ongoing debate over health insurance and healthcare in America. According to a Florida Today article, when hospitals treat uninsured patients, it is the American taxpayer who ultimately bears a significant portion of that cost as those hospitals that treat uninsured patients and provide “charitable care” receive assistance from the federal government as well as significant tax incentives from local, state, and federal governments.
Uninsured Motorists and Florida Car Wrecks
The uninsured pose not only a problem for hospitals in Florida but also for Florida motorists who are severely injured in a Florida car wreck. In most cases an injured motorist’s own insurance will pay for the losses and expenses the injured motorist sustains, including up to $10,000 in immediate medical benefits. Carrying uninsured motorist coverage can help offset the financial risk attendant when you suffer serious bodily harm as the result of a motorist who does not have adequate insurance. This provides you with a source of compensation for more of the expenses and losses associated with a Florida motor vehicle accident.
Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage a Good Buy?
Auto insurance companies in Florida are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage to their customers who purchased bodily injury liability coverage, but nothing mandates that drivers take advantage of such coverage. However, given the relatively low cost of such coverage compared to the potential out-of-pocket expenses you might face if you lack such coverage, uninsured motorist coverage usually makes sense.
If you or a loved one find yourself seriously injured by an uninsured motorist (or any other careless or reckless driver), speak with the Florida auto accident legal team at Roman & Roman as soon as possible. We will help you make sense of your legal rights and the sources of compensation available to you. We fight on behalf of our clients to help them obtain full and fair compensation for their injuries, and we would appreciate the opportunity to help you and your family as well. Call us at 877-767-1032, or reach out to us online and discuss your case and your concerns with us right away.