Yes, you can use your personal health insurance if you’re injured in a Virginia car accident, but you’ll still likely be responsible for deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket maximums.
Deciding who to bill for medical care after a car accident can be complicated. But racking up medical bills without a plan for payment can mean you end up with collections calling you or even liens on your personal property.
We’ll explain the options you have for paying medical bills after a car accident and how to pursue reimbursement for these expenses from the at-fault party’s car insurer.
Med Pay From Your Auto Policy
Med Pay is an optional auto insurance coverage you can elect to obtain. If you do elect this coverage, you can use it to start paying for medical care after a car accident.
This coverage will pay medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Maximizing this coverage as your first method of payment for medical bills is wise. However, Med Pay has small limits, meaning it’s easy to exhaust this coverage even with minor injuries.
Some Med Pay plans require that patients pay a portion of every bill until they reach the out-of-pocket maximum. If you pay any bills or deductibles for your Med Pay coverage, keep these for documentation purposes when filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party’s insurance.
Using Personal Health Insurance to Pay for Car Accident Injuries
Once you’ve reached your maximum coverage limits for your med pay coverage, you should begin using your personal health insurance to pay for necessary care resulting from a car accident.
While you might feel hesitant to do so because of a high-deductible health plan or large out-of-pocket maximums, you should still maximize your health care coverage. This way, you’re at least getting some coverage for your bills in return for the premiums that you or your employer pay each month.
Just like you should keep all out-of-pocket receipts for what you paid while using Med Pay, you should keep all out-of-pocket documentation for care that you bill to your health insurance.
Request all receipts for these medical appointments. Also, track your mileage to and from treatment as you can seek compensation for these expenses when filing a lawsuit against the other driver.
If I Get a Car Accident Settlement, Will My Health Insurance Company Request Reimbursement?
In many cases, no, Virginia law prohibits health insurance companies from taking legal action against you to collect money from a personal injury lawsuit. Health insurance companies cannot require that you reimburse payments made for medical care regardless of whether the other driver’s auto insurance company reimburses you for those expenses.
Some health plans are subject to ERISA, which leaves room for the health insurance company to pursue reimbursement for expenses they paid for from a personal injury settlement. Alternatively, the health insurance company can pursue expenses directly from the at-fault party’s auto insurance policy through a process known as subrogation.
Federal health insurance plans will also require reimbursement if you receive a personal injury settlement.
How a Virginia Car Accident Attorney Helps
Virginia car accident attorneys know the various ways victims can bill and pay for the medical care they need after an accident. With careful assessment, your attorney will recommend how to avoid collections agencies while getting the care you need.
We’ll assess your auto policy and personal health insurance to learn more about limits, exclusions, and repayment requirements in case of a personal injury settlement. Don’t try to navigate these complicated situations alone. Schedule a free consultation with Geoff McDonald & Associates now.