Does Medical Insurance Cover Car Accidents?

Personal Injury Attorneys » Car Accident Attorneys » Medical Insurance And Car Accidents?

 

When you suffer injuries after a car accident, the extent of your medical bills can quickly become overwhelming. For those who are unable to work due to their injuries, it’s even more stressful knowing you don’t have an income to help cover your medical care. But what about your insurance?

Will medical insurance cover expenses related to a car accident? Our Las Vegas auto accident attorneys explain.

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    Las Vegas Auto Insurance FAQs

    Generally, the initial payments after an accident will be charged against an existing auto insurance policy. Depending on the type of coverage you have, car insurance will typically pay for care and treatment related to car accident injuries until you reach your policy limit. Once you have exhausted the funds available to you through your auto insurance, your personal health insurance may be used for the remaining expenses.auto insurance terms

    The Nevada DMV requires1 that drivers carry a certain level of insurance protection when driving, including minimum liability insurance coverage of :

    • $25,000 for bodily injury or death for one person
    • $50,000 for bodily injury or death for two or more people
    • $20,000 for damage of other people’s property

    It’s important to remember that many of these policies have relatively small limits. These amounts are not much when you consider the average costs of medical care after an auto accident.

    Once all other forms of payment are exhausted your personal health insurance will generally begin to cover the medical costs associated with your injuries. Just like with your auto insurance policy, you are required to meet deductible amounts before the insurance company starts to cover treatment. You may also be required to cover co-pays and any other obligations required by the insurer.

    What your health insurance will cover depends on what type of coverage you have, whether you went to an in-network provider, what restrictions are included in your policy, and what kind of care you seek. Remember, many health insurance plans do not cover alternative medicines or treatments.

    A deductible for health insurance refers to the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your coverage begins. For example, you may have a $1,000 deductible included in your insurance policy. This means you must pay $1,000 on your own before your insurance will begin to pay for your medical expenses.

    Because many health insurance options have a deductible, it’s often the best option to use auto insurance coverage for medical costs after a car accident if available. This way, you can cover the bills quickly without having to pay out-of-pocket.

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    There are several health insurance providers and plans on the market, which are likely offered as a benefit through an employer. However, you can also choose to purchase your own coverage based on your personal needs.

    Some of the major health insurance providers include UnitedHealth, Anthem, Humana, and Cigna Health. They all offer a variety of plans designed to fit various budgets, lifestyles, and healthcare needs, including:

    • HMO
    • PPO
    • POS
    • EPO

    Some insurance companies offer catastrophic health plans2 for people under the age of 30 or have qualifying economic hardships. These plans generally have low monthly premiums but high deductibles. However, it’s important to do your research and compare plans before choosing the best one for your needs. Speak to insurance representatives to see what coverage is ideal for post-accident care.

    If you need medical care after a car accident, it’s essential to get help right away. Hospitals and doctors may not require payment upfront to treat your injuries, especially if you need emergency care. Payment for your medical care may come from several sources, including your own health insurance, after you’ve been treated.

    When using your health insurance for car accident injury expenses, you should follow the same steps you would for any condition or illness. Generally, these steps are:

    1. Find a qualified healthcare provider
    2. Pay the deductible or co-pay required by your insurance plan
    3. Get the proper treatment or medical care for your injuries

    In some cases, your medical insurance will cover the cost of treatment but then claim reimbursement in the form of subrogation.Subrogation letter being opened

    Your health insurer will seek reimbursement for anything that they paid out on your behalf due to the accident. Reimbursement will come from whatever settlement amount you receive, potentially cutting into the compensation you need for full recovery.

    Nearly every medical insurance policy will have a clause that states they are entitled to receive reimbursement for care provided for an accident from the at-fault party’s liability insurance. These policies contain language that allows them to seek reimbursement for any amount that they were required to pay on behalf of the accident. If your health insurance is Medicaid, your state will seek reimbursement. Medicare will also seek reimbursement but from a federal level.

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    Although it’s both common and legal for the health insurance company to seek reimbursement payment from your settlement amount, a lawyer can help you find a way to address such claims in a way that is beneficial to you. Your personal injury attorney will explain that there are certain protections available to injury victims from the Subrogation Clause.

    Upon reviewing the amount of the debts owed to the private health insurer, and comparing it to other obligations owed by the injury victim and the amount of the settlement, your attorney has the authority to negotiate with the health insurance company to reduce the costs of your medical care.

    The insurer can reduce the amount that they will receive for your care by any given amount. The amount taken off the bill will depend on many things, including your future health prognosis from your injury.

    As a worst case scenario, your attorney can go before the court and show how the amount the insurance company is demanding for your care is harming you and your future. If this occurs, the court has the option to set the amount that you will pay the insurer from your settlement, and the insurer must comply.

    Unfortunately, insurance companies may try to deny a claim after you have already received medical treatment. When this happens, you have the right to appeal and ask the insurance provider to change their decision. The law also allows you to seek an external review of the claim.

    If you feel you’ve been treated unfairly by your insurance company, it may be time to work with an experienced attorney. A personal injury lawyer can act as your advocate during the appeal and ensure you get the maximum amount for your claim.

    How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help?

    As a car accident victim, you have rights. You deserve fair treatment and to be compensated for your losses. The responsible party should be held accountable and you shouldn’t have to pay for your own medical expenses.

    A car accident lawyer can help you bring a legal claim for compensation to recover damages that resulted from the accident, including:

    • Medical bills
    • Future medical care
    • Physical therapy
    • Lost wages
    • Property damage
    • Pain and suffering

    If you were hurt in an auto accident, our Las Vegas car accident attorneys are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact our team now to schedule a free consultation to see what your claim may be worth.car accident attorney giving the client her settlement

    Sources:

    ¹Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Insurance. Retrieved 22 June 2022.

    ²HealthCare.gov. Catastrophic health plans. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved 22 June 2022.

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    Adam S. Kutner

    Adam S. Kutner Personal Injury Lawyer

    With more than 31 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas valley, Attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.

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