If you’ve been in a car accident in Virginia, you’ve probably been asked by your health care providers whether you want to use your health insurance for your bills. (Or perhaps a health care provider has refused to take your health insurance “because your treatment was due to an accident.”) If you are lucky enough to have health insurance, you should absolutely use your health insurance to pay your medical bills.
Why does my insurance have to get involved if it was someone else’s fault?
The simple answer is insurance is complicated. And pursuing money from the defendant will likely take a long time. In the mean time, your doctors and hospitals will want their money. By submitting their bills to your health insurance, it gets them paid, and you can at least know that you don’t have bills piling up or debts going to collection.
When does the auto insurance come into play?
Once you’ve fully recovered (or if you’re approaching the statute of limitations on your case), you will pursue your personal injury action. However, this can be far down the road. Therefore, early in your case you should focus on physically recovering and making sure that your bills are being submitted to your health insurance.
Once you’ve gotten a sufficiently solid idea of what your injuries are, you can then pursue money from the defendant’s insurance company.
What if the defendant doesn’t have enough insurance to cover my claim?
If you’re lucky enough to have been following BenGlassLaw prior to your accident, you’re well versed in Under-Insured Motorist Coverage (UIM). In the event that a defendant doesn’t have enough insurance, you can make a claim against your own policy. If you’ve bought enough to cover your claim then you don’t have to worry.
My health insurer sent me a letter about my Virginia accident case. Why do they care?
As we said above, you should have your health insurer pay your medical bills. However, in some instances, they may have a right to be reimbursed for what it paid on your behalf IF you get money from the accident case.
Keep in mind however: 1) the health insurer only gets paid what it pays out (generally health insurers get discounts for medical bills [so a $100 bill might only require $40 from a health insurer]; and 2) the health insurer helped you keep your finances stable for you to have time to pursure your auto case. What’s more, not all health insurers will ask for reimbursement in auto cases.