The Fate of the Collateral Source Rule After Healthcare Reform


The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) brought vast changes to the world of health insurance. Although much of the focus has been on the individual mandate provision’s constitutionality, this Comment explores a less- mentioned but equally important implication of PPACA: a change to the rationales behind the common law collateral source rule. The collateral source rule allows an insured plaintiff to recover medical damages in the amount that the medical provider bills, regardless of the fact that the plaintiff ’s medical provider likely accepted a lesser amount from the plaintiff ’s insurance company as payment in full. This Comment argues that because PPACA provisions weaken, if not eliminate, at least two of the rationales behind the collateral source rule, courts should calculate medical damages by factoring in the amount the insurance company paid to the provider and a percentage of the health insurance premiums that the plaintiff paid, calculated based on the extent of the plaintiff ’s injury.

About the Author

Ann S. Levin is a J.D. graduate of the UCLA School of Law, 2012. In 2011–12, she was a Comments Editor of UCLA Law Review, volume 59.

By uclalaw