Should I Use My Health Insurance for Medical Bills if the Accident Was Not My Fault?

September 9, 2016
Sonya Tien

Naturally, you would expect the at-fault party’s insurance company to promptly pay your medical expenses, but this is usually not the case.  First, insurance companies do not pay the medical bills while treatment is ongoing, which can lead to bad credit from the bills being sent to collections.  If they agree to pay for your medical bills, payment will not be made until your doctors appointments, surgeries, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, or other treatment is complete.  Second, after you have completed your medical treatment, many individuals are surprised to find out that auto insurance companies frequently dispute medical bills by arguing that the bills are too high and treatment was excessive.  Some insurance companies may refuse to pay for any treatment at all if they argue that the medical treatment was unnecessary.

Using Your Health Insurance May Help

Because auto insurance companies usually drag out the claims process, having your private health insurance pay for the medical bills as you accumulate them can minimize some of the consequences of the insurance company’s stinginess and delay.  Be watchful for medical providers who will harm your credit by sending your medical bills to collections while you are treating and working towards the resolution of your claim.  An attorney may be able to help with this part.  Additionally, using your private health insurance will count towards your deductible for the year in case you need additional treatment.

Will I Save Money By Using My Health Insurance?

The answer depends.  Subrogation is an insurer’s right to collect against a third party for benefits it has paid on behalf of its insured.  In most cases your health insurance company will be reimbursed for medical expenses that they paid on your behalf.  We will work with your health insurer to determine subrogation rights against your personal injury claim.  Often we will reach an agreement with the insurer to reimburse an amount less than what they paid, which translates into more funds for our clients.  It is best to think about health insurance subrogation early.   You would not want to receive a demand for reimbursement from your health insurance company long after your settlement and you would not want to experience any disruption in benefits, which is why it is important to coordinate with all parties while your claim is pending.

Contact a NC Personal Injury Attorney 

If you have questions about whether the use health insurance after an injury accident, you should contact a NC accident attorney.  We will review the details of the accident and type of health insurance plan that you have to help you determine the best course of action.  Most car accident claims, are settled out of court.  If you or a loved one of yours has been hit by a car and injured in North Carolina, contact Tien Law Firm for legal assistance.  We can meet with you for no charge and will not charge any fees unless we recover money for you.