Does Health Insurance Cover Uninsured Motorists?
Motor accidents are the cause of multiple deaths and injuries every year throughout the U.S. According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 10.8 million deaths in 2009.
Not only do road accidents cause physical damage, there is also a financial component to such events. So it is important that you understand all of the terms and conditions of your automobile and health insurance policies to get maximum protection.
Most people assume that their health insurance will cover all their health-related expenses, irrespective of the cause of injury. However, this assumption comes with strings attached.
As a benchmark rule, most health insurance companies will not cover you until they determine that no other insurance will cover your loss. So if you are an uninsured motorist or you carry automobile insurance without medical coverage, your health insurance is likely to pay for the cost of treatment.
Will a doctor treat me after an accident if I am an uninsured driver?
You should be aware that insurance companies take their time in determining your coverage, which might mean that you have to pay out of pocket and wait to be reimbursed. Additionally, you might have an amount limit on automobile injury treatment. This could leave you with a hefty bill once the limit is crossed.
Driving without auto insurance is considered a punishable crime. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, all states mandate that its drivers must have a minimum amount of insurance or proof of financial capability to pay for damages in case of an accident.
But regardless of your automobile insurance status, you will get treatment for your injuries, especially if you are taken to the ER or a trauma center. As long as you have health insurance, you will also receive treatment from private hospitals and doctors, though you will be billed differently.
Most medical practitioners deal with issues of insurance regularly and know how to proceed. You are likely to receive treatment and a bill of expenses upfront for anything that the medical providers know will not be covered by insurance. Any other denied claims will show up later, once your health insurance company makes its decision.
What can I expect at the doctor’s office or at the hospital after an accident?
The most important thing to do after an accident is to make sure you get the best possible medical care. Make sure you communicate all of your physical injuries to your medical professional.
As you receive treatment in the doctor’s office or at the hospital, the staff will gather all the relevant information including the cause of your injuries. Once it is determined that you were involved in a car crash, you will be provided with specific paperwork.
At this point, it would be very helpful to have a family member or friend available who can help you fill out the paperwork. Given that you are likely to be traumatized and confused after an accident, any assistance from a familiar person will ease the process.
The paperwork is likely to be extensive and will require information about your insurance policies and the insurance policies of other drivers or pedestrians involved in the accident. This information is collected to determine the billing procedure and the bill recipient.
All information collected from the police, the insurance companies, and you is pooled together to figure out who is responsible for what payments. As the health professionals and insurance companies assign responsibility, you are not required to give any input.
Once the insurance decisions are made, you will receive all the bills for those elements of treatment that are denied. Make sure you understand all the steps in the decision-making. You might need to revisit the issues if you require subsequent services such as physiotherapy or additional prescriptions.
If you are unhappy with the decisions, you might want to talk to your insurance claims adjuster for explanations and assistance. The claims process is tedious and confusing so do not hesitate to explore all options available to you so as to get the right answers.
How long does it take for a health insurance policy to pay for a car accident?
Most health insurance policies are meant to cover any and all treatments of bodily injury, unless otherwise stated. So your health insurance should pay for injuries caused by car accidents within the stipulated limits.
If you are an uninsured car driver or your specific auto insurance policy lacks medical coverage, your health insurance policy will step in to make payments. If another person is involved in the accident, then the health insurance company will wait to determine fault. If the other person is at fault, then their insurance should cover your treatment costs.
But health insurance companies use a wait-and-watch method whereby they do not extend coverage payments in the case of motor accidents until all other claims are denied. This procedure can take a long time and can lead to unexpected medical bills down the line.
While having health insurance will provide some coverage for treatments of injuries resulting from a motor accident, it is imperative that you get car insurance. It is a crime to drive without insurance and can land you in immense financial and legal trouble.