Patients are sometimes told that the paperwork “just allows for treatment and billing to the health insurance.” In the case of an automobile accident or other vehicle crash, in fact, these assignments of benefits often allow the health care provider to seek direct payment from the medical expense benefits coverage of your automobile insurance policy.
This is coverage which you elected to purchase as part of your auto insurance policy and for which you pay a separate premium. This coverage reimburses you for medical expenses incurred as the result of injuries sustained in a collision—up to your medical expenses limit—without having to wait for your lawsuit to be resolved.
Under Virginia law, allowing your health care providers to be paid directly from your medical expenses coverage is NOT required in order to be treated. The Virginia statute regarding medical expense coverage states that any assignment of such benefits must include a “conspicuous statement” that you are not required to sign the form in order to receive treatment.
If you are not in agreement with your health care provider being paid from your medical expenses coverage, cross out that assignment of benefits paragraph and put your initials next to the crossed out paragraph. As is always the case, you should read all paperwork before signing it.