It is happening in almost every personal injury case these days, a wealthy health insurance carrier grabbing a personal injury plaintiff’s settlement money under a roose called “subrogation.” It is robbery and every Georgia Citizen and every American citizen should be outraged. I recently saw an article that highlighted this tactic by health insurance carriers in the context of the Minnesota Bridge Collapse, which you will remember occurred earlier this year. The typical situation is you have a badly injured personal injury plaintiff who settles his or her lawsuit, and then his or her health insurance carrier steps in, having done absolutely NOTHING to procure the settlement, and recoups all of the money it has paid medical care providers for medical treatment for the plaintiff. What is even more repulsive is that the health insurace carrier has actually sold its account payable to a collection agency who then often fraudulently claims it is still the health insurance company acting. This is happening even though the Plaintiff has diligently paid his or her health insurance premiums all along.
It is a complicated analysis, but, fortunately, Georgia has the “made whole” doctrine, which says the plaintiff must first have been made whole before any third party, like the health insurance carrier, can just waltz in and take away the plaintiff’s settlement money unfairly. Fortunately, for Minnesota victims of the bridge collapse, Minnesota Lawmakers are trying to make up for bridge collapse survivors’ financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses and are brainstorming with attorneys about how they can keep health plans from recovering money meant for victims. I would urge the Georgia Lawmakers to do the same thing. Enough if enough.