Many car accidents cause devastating physical injuries. Our clients have suffered broken bones, internal organ damage, burns, or traumatic brain injuries.
They need to spend time in the hospital or have expensive diagnostic tests done. Even seemingly minor injuries can incur thousands of dollars in medical care.
If you are badly injured, you might not be able to continue working, so these medical bills arrive at your home at the worst possible time.
How do you pay for all this medical care? It is true that if another driver was to blame for the accident, you can make a claim on his or her insurance policy to cover medical bills.
But obtaining a car accident settlement could take six months. Even under the best circumstances, you will need to wait several months before you see any money—but you need care now. You can’t wait 6 months to set a broken bone or have a burn injury treated.
You might have been searching the internet for answers to “does health insurance cover auto accidents?” Unfortunately, there isn’t much accurate information out there. In this article, we will explain what you should look for.
Does Medical Insurance Cover Car Accidents? Read Your Health Insurance Policy
You should have received a copy of your policy details when you signed up for health insurance. You need to find your copy and read it because it might contain exclusions for events that the insurance does not cover.
Many health insurance policies do not cover car accident injuries. They might categorically exclude them from coverage, meaning they won’t pay out any benefits to treat a car accident injury.
Other policies take a more nuanced approach. For example, they might refuse to cover injuries caused by car accidents unless you have filed a claim with the other driver’s insurance policy. Basically, this requirement exists so that you try to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver.
Even if your health insurer will cover the cost of care, remember that you are responsible for your deductible and for any copays. Deductibles, in particular, could be considerable.
Understand an Insurer’s Right of Subrogation
Even if your health insurer covers your car accident injuries, the insurer undoubtedly maintains a “right to subrogation.” This essentially means that the insurer has a legal right to be reimbursed from any car accident settlement you receive. Because this language is included in the policy, your insurer can sue you if you don’t turn over the amounts that they are entitled to.
If you have Medicaid, then your state will have a right to subrogation. If you are covered by Medicare, then the federal government has this right. These agencies will also keep close track of the amount of money spent to treat your car accident injuries.
Other Methods of Paying for Health Care
Not everyone will need to rely on their health insurance to receive treatment. For example, you might have medical payments coverage. This is no-fault insurance, which will cover the cost of medical care up to the policy limit.
Check your insurance paperwork to see if you have this type of coverage. Because medical payments are no-fault, it will cover the cost of care even if you are responsible for the accident.
What happens if you don’t even have health insurance? Unfortunately, many people in Georgia find themselves in this situation. How do you get the care you need?
It might be possible to work with a doctor and give him or her a right to seek reimbursement from your settlement. You should talk with an attorney about this option. Not every doctor is willing to provide care this way, but some might.
You also might need to pay for medical care out of pocket, such as by using a credit card. A doctor might also have a payment plan you can use. These are less than ideal options, but you need prompt medical care to make a strong recovery.
Meet with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney for Help
The answer to, “Does health insurance cover car accidents” is complex. Everything depends on the details of your health insurance policy. If you have questions, meet with an attorney who can review your policy.
At Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, our car accident attorneys have helped many car accident victims get the care they need. We will also work to obtain the most favorable settlement possible to cover all your economic and non-economic losses.