Should You Use Your Health Insurance After a Car Accident?

Should you use your health insurance to pay your medical bills after a car accident?You should use your health insurance to cover your medical bills after a car accident, even if someone else is at fault. Car accident cases can take months, even years, before you are paid for your injuries. During that time, your medical bills need to be paid so you can avoid bills going to collections.

Don't Let Your Medical Bills go to Collections

Often people call our law firm and tell us that they won't use their health insurance for their car accident bills. Their rationale is that the defendant caused the accident, and therefore the defendant should be the one who pays. This makes logical sense, but in practice, you typically have to wait for the case to be resolved before seeing any money.

There's never a guarantee that you'll ever get paid out of your Virginia car accident case, and even if you do, it could be several weeks, months, or years. In the meantime, your doctors and hospitals will want their money. If you don't manage your medical bills, your bills could be sent to collections.

Your Health Insurance Can Help You Save Money After Settlement

When doctors and hospitals are paid through health insurance, they are paid a discounted rate. If you pay doctors and hospitals from your car accident settlement, you're going to be paying them back 100 percent of the bills (in addition to any late fees that you're charged) If you pay through your health insurance, when you get money (if you do get money) you're going to be compensated for the entire medical bill plus pain, suffering, and inconvenience.

Some policies may require you to reimburse your health insurance company after you get your settlement. This may seem like an inconvenience, but it is preferable because you will reimburse the health insurance company at their discounted rate.

Let's say for example you have a $100 bill. Your health insurance company will typically only pay 40 percent of that bill which is $40. When you claim the bill in your accident case, you're going to claim the $100 plus pain, suffering, and inconvenience. If you reimburse it will be at that $40 rate rather than the entire $100 bill, so you'll have more money in your pocket.

James S. Abrenio
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Focusing on criminal, traffic defense and personal injury cases