Under Montana law, when liability is "reasonably clear," an insurance carrier may be required to pay all medical bills prior to settling a case. The Montana Supreme Court recognizes that an insurance carrier's refusal or delay in paying medical bills can cause significant financial hardship on families. Allowing an insurance carrier to withhold payment until a settlement is reached creates a situation where the insurance company can and will leverage a car crash victim's family’s needs to strongarm a claimant into a settlement by withholding payment for medical bills.
A car crash victim and the victim's family may have three remedies to pay for medical bills incurred as a result of a crash: 1) health insurance or other method for payment of medical bills; 2) medical pay insurance coverage (which may be stacked just like underinsured motorist coverage); and 3) the negligent motorist's insurance coverage.
How these three methods of payment and remedies work together can become complicated. Medicare and Medicaid may have a right to reimbursement while Blue Cross Blue Shield has no such requirement. A plan may fall under the federal law known as ERISA which has its own set of rules.