Health Insurance as an Item of Damage

Future insurance premiums might be a valid component of a settlement evaluation.

If the claimant must now pay premiums that would not be required “but for” the litigated occurrence, a claimant may present this expense as an item for compensation.

Considerations include:

  • What did the claimant pay for health insurance prior to the occurrence?
  • Was the health insurance subsidized as an employment benefit which is no longer available?
  • Is the claimant on Medicare before the normal retirement age as a result of the subject occurrence?
  • Will this settlement disqualify the claimant from receiving public benefits?

The premium is just the starting point. Parties may also calculate deductibles and co-payments, as well as items which may not be within the insurance coverage, such as transportation and home health care.

The cost of health Insurance will continue to rise. In coming to an appropriate figure, parties may discuss a cost-of-living adjustment versus a reduction of future cost to present value.