Does health insurance cover car accident bills? How does health insurance cover car accident injuries?
Using health insurance for car accident bills
Many car accident victims want to know whether their health insurance covers car accident injuries.
In short, your health insurance can cover car accident claims, but how and when your policy takes effect is dependent on several factors.
Most health insurance plans cover bills for injuries sustained in car accidents, but restrictions will apply based on individual policy limits and provisions.
Depending on your coverage, your healthcare provider may request your health and auto insurance information if you seek treatment for injuries related to a car accident.
Keep reading to learn more about how your health insurance could be used for car accident bills.
Table of contents
- Does health insurance cover car accident bills?
- How does health insurance cover car accident injuries?
- Does auto insurance or health insurance pay first?
- How do I submit healthcare bills to auto insurance?
- How are healthcare bills paid after a car accident?
- Health and auto insurance FAQ
Does health insurance cover car accident bills?
Overall, health insurance policies cover accident and medical expenses associated with car accident injuries. Still, limitations may apply based on policy restrictions like deductibles and copays, who was at fault for the accident, and the car insurance type.
All of these factors will be determined by insurance providers to determine the amount of liability on a car accident claim before making any payments.
So when does health insurance cover car accidents? The answer isn’t straightforward.
If you have several different insurance policies, understanding your options to get your medical bills paid after a car accident can be confusing.
Here’s what you should know from the get-go.
- Your health insurance coverage will likely pay for your car accident injuries and medical bills. However, having other car insurance-specific options, like personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, might save you time and money.
- Your health insurer usually has the right to be reimbursed (for the amount paid to treat your car accident injuries) if paid by the at-fault driver’s insurer or another source.
- The types of auto insurance coverage in place and who was at fault for the car accident affect how much responsibility one of the parties or insurance carrier has.
Let’s examine some key issues related to health insurance and car accident injuries.
How does health insurance cover car accident injuries?
If you have health insurance and are injured in a car accident, your health insurer will usually pay for any treatment you need. But there are a few exceptions.
- Depending on your health insurance coverage, there may be in-network or out-of-network restrictions and distinctions on what’s covered regarding care providers.
- Your health insurance plan might explicitly define your coverage as “secondary,” and other “primary” insurance is available to cover your injuries (for example, the other driver’s insurance or your own).
- When you have primary or available car insurance coverage, you will first turn to the primary insurance. Then, your health insurance should pay for the remainder of your care if your treatment costs exceed the amount of that coverage.
- It’s worth checking what forms of treatment are covered under your health insurance, as some alternative forms of care are not. Certain kinds of medical care you receive might not be covered.
Does auto insurance or health insurance pay first?
As touched on, car insurance typically pays for car accident bills until the available coverage limits are exhausted, and then health insurance usually takes effect to pay for the rest.
As noted above, your policy's fine print will answer whether you have “primary” or “secondary” insurance.
If your health insurance coverage pays your medical bills first, the health insurer will file a claim against the at-fault driver’s car insurance company.
How do I submit healthcare bills to auto insurance?
If you were in an accident and sustained an injury (and have auto insurance coverage), you should start a claim.
Before you begin your claim, you will work with an adjuster to forward all necessary bills and records to your auto insurer.
When you seek treatment for car accident injuries, give your auto and health insurance information to your healthcare provider.
The insurance adjuster will review the paperwork you provide for your auto accident claim and ask for more details if required. They will either fully or partially reimburse the appropriate party or deny the claim.
How are healthcare bills paid after a car accident?
In most cases, the process after sustaining a car injury follows the stages outlined below.
- You get injured in a car accident and receive medical care for any injuries.
- If you use health insurance, follow the same protocol you would for any healthcare treatment. As standard, you pay the usual deductible or copay under your plan.
- If you use car insurance, follow your auto insurer’s claim submission process (often available to file online).
Healthcare providers may not require you to pay upfront for your medical bills. Still, after they provide the necessary services, they will work with any involved insurance companies alongside you to determine who needs to pay what.
Suppose you are rushed from the accident scene to an emergency room. You might receive a hefty bill from healthcare providers (or your local city/county) weeks after the fact.
This medical bill will typically include a section asking for details of your health insurance (if you have any). You will need to mail the bill back (without paying it).
Then, the healthcare providers (or city/county) will deal with your health insurance plan to get payment.
Health and auto insurance FAQ
What is copay in insurance?
A copay in health insurance means the insured agrees to pay a specified portion of medical expenses. This specific amount is usually a fixed percentage of the claim amount, which the policyholder pays at the time of a claim.
When should I use auto insurance vs. health insurance to pay for car accident bills?
You will usually be asked for your health and auto insurance information by your insurance provider when you seek medical treatment.
The answer to this depends on your coverage options, the circumstances of your accident, and what type of health insurance you have.
What if my injuries were severe and caused by the other driver?
If the other party’s negligence caused the accident, you could maximize your compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury lawyer can help recover damages like lost wages, property loss, medical bills, and estimation of pain and suffering.
If you win a settlement or jury award, your health and auto insurers may ask for reimbursement for the costs they incurred on your behalf. Work with an attorney familiar with subrogation to maximize your compensation.
What if I don’t have health insurance?
Don’t delay seeking medical treatment after an accident, even if you don’t have health insurance.
Depending on the law where you are, healthcare providers may be legally required to help uninsured patients. For car accident injuries, in particular, some healthcare providers will treat the patient and arrange the treatment bills after the fact.
Why aren’t my medical bills covered?
Car accident victims are sometimes victims of another kind after an accident. Policy distinctions often cause auto and health insurance providers to disagree and dispute their liability for paying medical bills.
In addition, your medical bills might not be covered if your healthcare providers neglect the correct insurance information and instead charge you for higher and uninsured rates.
Furthermore, certain aspects of your treatment may have been dated, detailed, or signed improperly, causing a dispute.
Other than that, you might have received medical help beyond the scope of treatment and the insurer’s terms and conditions (especially if you received alternative forms of care).
If you need to use your health insurance to pay for your car accident bills and no other insurance is available, it’s usually possible.
Instead of health insurance paying for your car accident injuries and medical bills, other car insurance-specific options like personal injury protection (PIP) coverage might save you time and money.
While your health insurance will cover medical treatments for almost any kind of illness or injury, including car accidents, it doesn’t work both ways.
No matter your car insurance coverage details, you can’t use that policy to pay for health care unrelated to a vehicle accident.
Your health insurer usually has the right to be reimbursed if bills for your car accident injuries are paid by the at-fault driver.
The types of auto insurance and who was at fault for the accident affect how much responsibility one of the parties or insurance carrier has.
Don’t delay seeking medical care after an accident, even if you don’t have health insurance. Once you are able, work with an experienced insurance provider to determine your needs.