Does My Health Insurance Cover Car Accidents?
Yes, health insurers do cover car accident claims– but how and when your health insurance policy kicks in depends on several factors. Many accident victims are dismayed when disputes between treating doctors and various insurers ensue, leaving them with the added stress of unpaid medical bills. You can always contact a car accident lawyer in New York for a free consultation to better understand your specific policies. However, this article will give you a general idea of what to expect in the coming months.
Who pays first?
- You – Policy deductibles are the first obligation following an accident, so if you have not yet met your auto insurance obligation for the year, you will have to pay this bill first. Some people carry liability insurance only, which has no deductible. If you have collision and comprehensive coverage, you may have a deductible of $500 or $1,000, depending on your specific policy.
- Your Auto Insurance Provider – The auto insurer is often second in line to pay for the accident. New York requires all drivers to carry no-fault personal injury protection or “medical benefits” coverage that pays a minimum of $50,000 per person. You may have opted for additional coverage up to $100,000, depending on the amount you were willing to pay for your premium. Typically, the auto insurer will pay you, the claimant, directly, and you will be in charge of paying each medical bill as it arrives.
- You (Again) and Your Health Insurance Provider – Once your auto insurance policy limits have been exhausted, your health insurance company steps up as the third party to cover your medical expenses. You will have to pay any unmet medical insurance deductible for the year before the insurance coverage kicks in. Health insurers may deal directly with your medical care providers or medical bills may be sent directly to you, requiring an additional phone call to ensure your healthcare coverage is effective.
Depending on your policy, you may still be required to pay out-of-pocket co-pays for doctor’s visits and medication. Also, not all treatments are covered by health insurers, particularly if they are considered “new,” “alternative,” or “experimental.”
What if your injuries were severe and caused by the other driver?
If the accident was caused by a negligent driver, you might file a personal injury lawsuit to maximize your compensation. Personal injury lawsuits cover damages like medical bills, lost wages, property loss, as well as an estimation of pain and suffering. Should you win a settlement or jury award, your auto and health insurers may seek reimbursement for anything they paid out on your behalf. It is important to work with an attorney who is familiar with subrogation to maximize your recovery compensation.
Why aren’t my medical bills covered?
Lawyers have seen several dirty tricks to extract money out of car accident victims. All too often, policy technicalities cause auto and medical insurance providers to point fingers at each other, disputing their own liability for paying the bills. Sometimes hospitals neglect to take down the proper insurance information and instead charge you the 4-5x higher “uninsured rates.” Certain aspects of your treatment may have been dated or coded improperly, causing a dispute. Other times, you have received care outside of an approved provider or beyond the scope of treatment (in the insurer’s eyes anyway).
Contact Douglas and London today to better understand your rights
You may require assistance from a personal injury attorney who can better understand your rights and represent your best interests in dealing with insurance providers. At Douglas and London, the first thing we’ll do is comb through your insurance policy agreements to find points of contention they may use to evade financial responsibility. We can stop harassing calls from creditors until the dispute at hand gets resolved.
We can also help you explore all available resources for covering out-of-pocket deductibles and file a lawsuit on your behalf– if necessary. Contact us today for a free case review. We work on a contingency basis– meaning you pay nothing for legal services unless you receive money. Finally, since opening our practice in 2002, we’ve won over $4 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.