Using Health Insurance for a Car Accident Injury

How your standard health coverage might come into play after a car accident.

After a car accident injury, getting medical care can become a sticky situation if a number of different insurance policies are in place. Injured parties are often unsure of what insurance to use, and it may even be unclear whether their standard health insurance will cover car accident injuries.

Exactly who should pay and how much responsibility a particular company has can depend on a number of factors -- including the deductible on the policy (or policies) in question, who is at fault, and whether car insurance coverage is in place. Ultimately, most health insurance companies will cover car accident injury bills, at least up to a point, but is using your health insurance coverage a good idea? In this article, we'll take a closer look at the issue.

Deductibles and Car Accident Injury Bills

In most cases, car accident injury bills will follow a basic pattern of payment responsibility. The first piece of the pie will involve any deductibles in place on the insurance policy in question, whether it's a car insurance policy or standard health insurance. The injured will have to pay bills up to the deductible amount.

Hospitals, ambulances and doctor’s offices may not require upfront deductible payments from injured parties. Instead, they will likely perform necessary services and then work with the involved insurance company or companies to determine who needs to pay what amount. Accident victims, however, can expect to be billed for the deductible amount once responsibility is determined.

Auto Policies Pay First

When it comes to actual insurance company responsibility for a car accident injury, the first payments are supposed to be charged against the auto policy in place. Most states require motorists to have personal injury protection. The amount of coverage can vary greatly, but medical bills will or should be charged up to the policy limits before actual health insurance should come into play at all for a car accident injury. Learn about car insurance rules in your state.

Cycling into Medical Insurance Coverage

Generally, medical insurance policies will start picking up bills for a car accident injury as soon as all other forms of payment are exhausted. What is covered and what is not will hinge on the policy itself. Injured parties will likely still have to pay:

  • Their deductible amount under their health insurance policy
  • Any co-payments that are required under a health insurance policy
  • For any charges that are not typically covered by the policy.

Recovering Expenses

If the injured party in question is not the at-fault driver, the insurance companies involved may work behind the scenes to get the at-fault party’s policies to absorb some of the costs. Victims of car crashes can also sometimes recover some of their out-of-pocket expenses by making that part of any car accident settlement agreement with the at-fault driver and/or their insurance carrier.

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