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Does Your Health Insurance Cover Car Accidents?

Meredith Miller | Published: June 14, 2018

Toy cars collide

Sometimes health insurance covers car accident injuries; sometimes it doesn't. The answer depends on your policy and other insurance options. A number of insurance types come into play in a car accident situation. Chances are that multiple insurance policies will contribute to your medical expense payments.

Who Is Responsible For Medical Bills After A Car Accident?

Generally, the person at fault for the car accident pays the medical bills of those injured in the accident via their auto insurance provider. The bodily injury component of state-mandated liability auto insurance covers the injuries of those not at fault. A person with personal injury protection (PIP) coverage included with their auto insurance policy can use it to cover their own injuries sustained regardless of fault.

What Does Medical Coverage For Auto Insurance Cover?

A PIP policyholder can use the insurance to pay for their own medical bills from a car accident, and in some cases, they can also use this coverage to cover lost wages and funeral expenses. Often referred to as "no-fault" insurance, a personal injury protection policyholder can use it to pay for medical expenses even if no person was at fault or another party was. If a deer runs out in front of your vehicle and causes an accident in which you're injured, PIP covers it.

Will Your Health Insurance Cover Car Accidents?

You can present your medical insurance to the hospital or doctor when seeking treatment from a car accident. Some plans do not cover car accidents. You should check your policy to determine what it covers. You may be able to designate your health insurance as your primary source of medical coverage used if involved in a car accident. Just as in other treatment situations, your co-payments and deductibles apply. In some states, such as New Jersey, if you lose your healthcare coverage and sustain injuries in an accident, your personal injury protection still pays for your medical expenses, but you'll pay a $750 additional deductible.

You can also use funds from your health savings account if you have one. In order to qualify for an HSA account, you must own a high deductible health plan (HDHP).

Does Medicare Cover Car Accident Injuries?

Neither Medicare nor Medicaid can function as your primary health plan coverage for car accidents. You can name it as the secondary coverage. You may then use it when you exceed the limits of your personal injury protection coverage if needed.

Who Pays First, Auto Insurance Or Health Insurance?

Your car insurance policy, including PIP, pays only once you exhaust your medical coverage. If the other party in a car accident is at fault, their liability pays for medical expenses not covered by your insurance and for which you submit bills.

Your best bet to ensuring timely payment for your medical treatment remains a health plan/insurance. While every state requires liability insurance for vehicles, not all states require, or even offer personal injury protection. Twelve of the fifty states require PIP coverage. Another 30 states offer it as a purchase option. This insurance type remains unavailable in the other eight states.

If you don't already carry medical insurance, you can use an independent health insurance tool like that offered by First Quote Health to compare available plans and costs. It allows you to connect with independent insurance agents to determine whether an HMO or PPO works best for you, and to find the right coverage at the right price. They act like personal assistants for you since they know the plans their affiliated insurance company offers.

If you don't have your heart set on a specific insurance company, you can use the same tool to find an independent health insurance broker. A broker doesn't represent one company. They're licensed within their state and assist people in comparing many insurance companies and their plans.