Any good health insurance plan will cover most of your liability-related medical expenses, subject to your usual deductibles and co-pays. If another person is legally responsible for your injuries, your health insurer will expect to be paid back from your settlement or award, at least in part. In fact, the health plan has the right (rarely used) to sue the at fault party and get paid back directly for your medical expenses. This called a right of subrogation, and we will talk about it in detail later. For now, understand that your health insurer will expect to be repaid.
Typically your auto insurance will have a Medical Payments Coverage (also called Med pay Coverage) provision or rider. It is often optional, but few people decline it, as it is usually pretty cheap. The limit on the coverage is often quite low, such as $1,000 or $5,000, as it often purchased just to pick up the deductibles and copays under your health insurance plan. For that reason, it is sometimes written only as a secondary coverage, paying only what your primary coverage, your health insurance, does not pay. If you have well-coordinated insurance, that’s the way it would be structured, as you don’t need to pay extra premium dollars to cover yourself for the same loss twice. Coordination of benefits rules will almost always mean that you reimbursed for these losses only once, no matter how many times you are covered.
Some people buy larger med pay coverage limits, say up to $25,000 and some policies may be primary, not secondary insurance (meaning it will pay, until exhausted, before your health insurance plan. If you only have health insurance for catastrophic losses, this seems like the way to go.
Med pay insurance usually covers you, your passengers, and family members driving your car. And it typically follows the policyholder, so that you are covered even when you are not in your insured vehicle, such as while you are walking, riding with a friend, on in public transportation.
Almost every health insurance plan will have a right to be repaid for your medical bills, at least in part, when you settle with the at fault party’s insurance carrier. That is less likely to be true of Med Pay carriers. Some policies don’t include a so-called right or reimbursement. Read the policy language, or have your lawyer do, it to be sure.
While you are reading, check for traps. Some of these Med pay policies only pay medical bills incurred within one year of your accident or have some other trap so that the insurer can avoid paying.
The right combination of good health insurance and adequate Med pay Coverage is the optimal way to pay the bills, and not overpay in premium dollars.
For more information about using Medical Payments Coverage To Pay Your Medical Bills a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (802) 864-8144 today.
Rich Cassidy Law
1233 Shelburne Road
South Burlington, VT 05403