Does Health Insurance Pay For Auto Accident Injuries? Analysis

In an auto accident, expenses can pile up—hospital bills, EMS bills, medical equipment, medication, and lost wages due to work absence.

But does the at-fault driver cover these expenses? Is it as simple as filing a lawsuit, getting paid, and settling the bills?

Not quite. Lawsuits, even settlements, take time.

Auto accident injuries
Health Insurance for Auto accident Injuries: Photo source (coastal-law.com)

Determining damages is key before sending a demand letter, which means settling only after treatment or with a future medical cost estimate.

Then, the insurance company delays payment and aims to pay the minimum.

They won’t exceed the required payment.

Plus, the defense lawyers are paid hourly—unlikely to rush a settlement recommendation.

When Does Health Insurance Pay for Auto Accident Injuries?

Health insurance covers car accident injuries, regardless of how they occurred.

It pays for medical expenses from the accident, but not for all damages.

Depending on your policy type, it usually covers only part of medical costs, not lost wages, pain, vehicle damage, passenger injuries, or non-medical expenses.

Co-pays and deductibles are your responsibility as per your policy terms.

What’s the Difference Between Health Insurance and Auto Insurance?

Health insurance ensures medical care when needed, regardless of the cause (e.g., motorcycle crash or illness).

Auto insurance, however, hinges on specific events like vehicle collisions.

Insurance for auto accident injuries
Insurance for auto accident injuries: Photo courtesy (Reddit.com)

It might cover liability to others or repairs (comprehensive insurance).

Your auto insurance could partially cover your injuries from someone else’s negligence if you added that coverage.

Subrogation

Usually, your health insurer can recover costs from your settlement.

Most policies include subrogation for reimbursement when the at-fault party pays.

Will they take your settlement? Likely yes, to cover their pre-settlement costs.

Whether and how much you pay them depends.

Your lawyer can:

Medicare and Medicaid

Government subrogation liens (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid) must be addressed before you get a settlement.

If government programs covered post-accident expenses, your lawyer contacts them for approval before disbursing your settlement.

Often, we can lessen their lien, increasing your post-case compensation.

Also read: Are Auto Insurance Rates Going Up?

How Do You Pay Your Medical Bills if You Don’t Have Health Insurance?

No health insurance limits payment options for post-accident medical bills.

Still, don’t refuse treatment due to costs; skipping care can reduce your settlement and lead to pricier complications later.

Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist Coverage

When the at-fault driver lacks insurance or their policy falls short, your uninsured/underinsured coverage can step in and pay for your costs.

PIP or MedPay Coverage

With extra PIP or MedPay, your policy can front medical costs, and PIP has no subrogation.

What is a Letter of Protection?

Some providers treat you with a “letter of protection” from your attorney, creating a lien on your recovery.

The attorney pays the provider from your recovery before you get funds.

The provider waits for case resolution but if no recovery, you still pay for services.

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