Who pays for the Medical Forensic Exam?
One main barrier in deciding to seek medical care after a sexual assault can be paying for the medical care. Survivors may be concerned that seeking medical care will mean that their privacy will not be protected as they may have to give out their insurance information. However, there are several different entities that cover portions of the cost of the MFE including: law enforcement, Colorado’s Crime Victim Compensation, the state Sexual Assault Victim Emergency Payment Program (SAVE), or the survivor’s health insurance.
There are two parts to the MFE bill. The first part is the evidence collection portion of the MFE. This is paid for by law enforcement or the SAVE fund. The hospital will bill these agencies directly for the evidence collection portion of the MFE. A survivor should never receive a bill for this, as state and federal law mandates survivors cannot be charged directly or indirectly for this portion.
The second part of the MFE is all the medical care a survivor receives after a sexual assault. This can vary from emergency room charges, to CAT scans, to medications and other things. These bills are sent to different places, based on the type of report a survivor makes (see the reporting options page).
Anonymous or Medical Reporting (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-3-407.5 (b)):
- The SAVE fund covers the cost of evidence collection and most associated medical costs related to the medical care a survivor receives after an assault. If you have health insurance that can be billed for the non-evidence collection related costs, it will be unless you specifically request it not be.
- It is important to note, the SAVE fund cannot reimburse survivors. If you do receive medical bills, please contact the medical facility you where you received care before paying anything. A community-based victim advocate can also help you navigate the payment process.
Report to Law Enforcement (Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-3-407.5(1)):
- The evidence collection portion of the medical cost must be billed to the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.
- If you have health insurance that can be billed for the non-evidence collection related costs, it will be unless you specifically request it not be.
- You can apply to Colorado’s Crime Victim Compensation to cover the expenses beyond evidence collection. A law enforcement or community-based victim advocate can assist you with applying to this program.
- If you do not have evidence collected but do choose to report to law enforcement, then you would also be eligible to apply for Colorado’s Crime Victim Compensation to cover medical expenses. A law enforcement or community-based victim advocate can assist you with applying to this program.