Who pays for the Medical Forensic Exam?
The cost of the exam is covered by law enforcement, Colorado Crime Victim Compensation, or the state Sexual Assault Victim Emergency Payment Program (SAVE). The hospital bills law enforcement or the SAVE fund directly for the evidence collection portion of the MFE. A survivor should never receive a bill for this because state and federal law prohibits it. Additional bills associated with the medical care a survivor receives after a sexual assault are sent to different places, based on the type of report a survivor makes (see the reporting options page).
If the survivor chooses anonymous or medical reporting:
- The SAVE fund covers the cost of evidence collection and most associated medical fees related to the medical care a survivor receives after an assault. If the survivor has health insurance that can be billed for the non-evidence collection related medical costs, the provider should talk to them about whether they are okay with this happening. Some survivors may be on family insurance or the insurance of the perpetrator and not want it billed. If a survivor does not want their insurance billed or does not have insurance, the SAVE fund is there to assist. Survivors cannot receive reimbursement; it is critical your facility has systems in place to ensure bills are being sent directly to the SAVE fund in the Division of Criminal Justice and not to the survivor for these medical costs.
If the survivor chooses to report to law enforcement:
- In this case, as noted above, the evidence collection portion of the medical forensic exam must be billed to the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred. For other associated medical costs, the survivor can use their own insurance if they have it and want to and/or they can apply to Colorado Crime Victim Compensation to cover the expenses beyond evidence collection.
If a survivor seeks medical care, does not have evidence collected, and does not want to report to the police, then it is likely their insurance provider will be billed the cost of their medical care if they have insurance. If they do not have insurance, we encourage medical facilities to work with the survivor to set up payment plans or work with the survivor and their victim advocate to identify other possible funding sources.
If a survivor does not have evidence collected but does choose to report to law enforcement, then they would be eligible to apply for Colorado Crime Victim Compensation to cover their medical care. Usually, a law enforcement or community-based sexual assault victim advocate can assist them with this process.