What is a Letter of Protection?
A Letter of Protection (LOP) is a letter sent by your lawyer to your health treatment provider. These letters are sent to enable you to receive treatment when you cannot afford to pay immediately. These letters offer the health treatment provider a promise of payment for your healthcare services directly out of any money received in a settlement or judgment.
Many health care professionals require payment at the time of treatment. Unfortunately, health insurance plans may refuse to pay to treat injuries caused by a motor vehicle collision (MVC). These medical insurance carriers often expect the auto insurance carriers to be responsible for paying such bills.
Even when auto insurance carriers immediately accept liability, they will generally not pay for your medical care as the services are rendered. Instead, auto-insurance companies generally reimburse you for care that you have already received and paid for. And they generally make this reimbursement all at once. This is often true even when your medical care lasts for many months. Since most health care treatment providers expect payment at the time of service, they often refuse to treat patients through their regular health insurance when their injuries are the result of a motor vehicle collision.
To ensure that you are treated for your injuries, your attorney may need to send a Letter of Protection (LOP) to your health care provider. The LOP agrees to pay for your treatment out of money received in a settlement or judgment if the case is successful. In exchange, the treatment provider agrees to provide their services now and to wait until the conclusion of the case before they demand payment. If there is no recovery, then you are still responsible for the bill and the health care treatment provider retains the right to pursue you for the full bill just like any other debt.