Does Health Insurance Cover Car Accident Injuries?

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If you or your loved ones sustain an injury from a car accident, your first thought is getting the care you need – not whether or not doing so will cause financial ruin. The fall-out from car accidents can sometimes last years, impacting everything from your general health and well-being to your financial circumstances. Working with a reputable Houston car accident lawyer can at least help to mitigate some of the damage.

This is especially critical regarding how much of your medical expenses your health insurance policy may cover. Typically, when it comes to car accidents, auto and medical insurance companies put the onus on one another to cover expenses, passing the buck back and forth until eventually, you are stuck with the bill. By this point, the responsible party is also nowhere to be found.

The team at Sutliff & Stout works to ensure that this does not happen to you. After all, you are the victim and should not be the one stuck with the expensive aftermath of a car accident that was not your fault.

We want to help you too.

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    Will Health Insurance Cover Car Accident Injuries?

    Car accident injuries run the gamut from superficial cuts and bruises to more serious medical matters that can take years to heal, if they ever do, depending on the severity of the accident. When you initially seek care, you will typically be treated and use your health insurance the way you would when you are sick any other time.

    Things start to get dicey when it is time to settle up for the total scope of care. For example, if you had to navigate emergency care, follow-up visits, rehabilitation and other forms of therapy, you may not need to pay out of pocket initially. Once you are nearing completion, medical providers may begin billing your insurance company.

    If you have already explained that the injuries were sustained in a car accident, your health insurance provider might route the bills to your auto insurance company. Your auto insurance provider, depending on the company and policy type, might kick it back to your health insurance company. Sometimes, the health and auto insurance companies will also try to bill the other person’s insurance company.

    All of this back and forth depends on the nuances of each of your policies, including deductibles. Ultimately, you could be left with a hefty bill by the time things have settled.

    Were You Charged “Uninsured Rates” at the Hospital?

    Whether your own health insurance company decides to approve a personal injury claim related to a car accident may also depend on the doctor or hospital that provided you treatment at the time of the accident, as well as the fine writing in your insurance policy.

    This is because many hospitals will refuse to bill your health insurance company because they would rather charge you under their “uninsured rates.”

    Although hospitals provide life-saving care at the time of your greatest need, they also seek to maximize their income and often bill car accident victims as “uninsured,” so they can file a lien against any settlement you may eventually get.

    This allows hospitals to get paid four to five times more than what your traditional health insurance may provide. We feel that this is an unfair practice.

    By way of example, a certain hospital in Houston that is widely used for all types of injuries, accidents, and procedures, will charge a patient with insurance anywhere from $500 to $700 for a basic CT scan.

    But for uninsured patients, the hospital charges $4,000 to $5,000 for the same procedure!

    Who has time to figure out how and for what you’re being charged at a hospital when you’ve been injured? Not many patients have this opportunity, and as a result of the hospitals charging patients “uninsured rates,” health insurers will often deny their clients claims when they’ve been involved in a collision.

    This leaves you — the person in physical pain and stress — in an even more dire predicament. It also creates a conflict between the hospital and insurance company, with neither willing to budge to provide the coverage you need.

    Medicare and Medicaid

    If you have Medicare or Medicaid, you’re in better luck in that you may not have to fight to receive some benefits, but the type of benefits you do receive may be inadequate, take years to settle, and can be much harder to navigate because of the sheer size of the bureaucracy of these two federal programs.

    UIM/UM and Medpay

    It’s always wise to carry more uninsured/underinsured (UIM/UM) coverage than you think you’ll need. This type of coverage can help you if someone hurts you seriously and you are unable to work for an extended period of time.

    Most of the time, UIM/UM coverage is fairly cheap, so get a lot of it if you can afford it. You should also check your policy to see if you have MedPay.

    MedPay is an optional part of your insurance policy that can cover care for injuries if you get in a car accident in addition to your limits for personal bodily injury.

    Refusal to be treated

    Another troubling trend when seeking out medical help after a car accident is that now, many doctors simply refuse to treat car accident victims.

    In a recent case, one of our clients had regularly seen her orthopedic doctor for several years. When she called his office to seek orthopedic treatment for a car accident she had recently been in, the doctor simply said “no,” and that she should find a new doctor that treats car accident victims.

    How a Houston Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

    A Houston car accident lawyer can help by getting involved in this process from the beginning. Once the situation is no longer emergent, your next call should be to a car accident attorney that can ensure those responsible are accountable for their role from the beginning. Sutliff & Stout works with our clients from the start of the process to the end. We want to ensure that you are not left holding the financial bag for a car accident that you did not cause.

    We will negotiate with your health and auto insurance companies as needed while also seeking compensation from the responsible party. You should not be left to deal with the financial consequences of an auto accident. Depending on the accident specifics, you may be due compensation for your medical bills as well as lost wages and physical and emotional distress stemming from the accident.

    It is essential to work with an experienced Houston car accident lawyer on this process. When you attempt to negotiate this process alone, insurance companies know it and may be more likely to take advantage of your lack of knowledge in this area. You may end up paying out money when you should be receiving it in the form of compensation for your suffering in the accident.

    Your health and auto insurance have a role in the payment process, as does the party that caused the accident. We will act on your behalf to make sure that all of the entities that should pay do, while you focus on getting your life together after the traumatic events of your accident.

    Reach Out to a First-Rate Houston Car Accident Lawyer

    Fighting with health insurance companies while ensuring the responsible party is held accountable for a car accident means plenty of negotiation and legal wrangling. Sutliff & Stout takes that burden off our clients’ shoulders, allowing you to focus on healing. Compensation can go a long way towards helping with that process.

    We have helped numerous clients to get the compensation they deserve after a Houston car accident. We are tireless in our efforts to hold health insurance companies and those that caused the accident accountable for your suffering. Call us at (713) 987-7111 or reach out online to schedule a free case review today.

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