Here at Fuller & Fuller, we are often asked questions about our clients’ health insurance. The intricacies of the health insurance system are confusing, especially if you have never had to navigate them before. Hopefully this information will help answer some of the questions you, as an accident victim, might have about how your health insurance can help with your accident-related injuries. Please note that the below information is based on Washington law, is not necessarily applicable to other states, and is in no way intended to be interpreted as legal counsel.
It makes sense that the person who injured you should have to pay your medical bills. Unfortunately, the other person’s insurance company will not pay until your claim has settled. In the meantime, medical bills need to be paid on an ongoing basis throughout your claim because medical providers are not always patient enough to wait for payment until you receive your settlement. They may have your bills accrue interest or send your account to collection. Since your health insurance company knows that it will be reimbursed from the lump sum you receive at the time of your settlement, it will cover your medical bills in the time between your accident and your settlement.
In Washington State, some people have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage on their auto accident policy. It is mandatory that every driver in the State of Washington have auto insurance, and although PIP costs slightly extra, every auto accident policy automatically comes with PIP coverage unless you specifically opt out of it. PIP is the first line of defense when it comes to your accident-related medical bills. Health insurance generally will not cover your accident-related medical treatment until you run out of PIP (in Washington there is generally either $10,000 or $35,000 of medical coverage) or if you are without PIP coverage.
Even though you are being treated for accident-related injuries, your co-pays and deductibles still apply as they normally would. At Fuller & Fuller, we have a full-time staff member whose sole job duty is keeping track of the details of your medical bills, co-pays, deductibles, PIP, health insurance, etc. so you can focus on getting better. The help of a personal injury attorney in Tacoma can make all the difference. To complicate matters further, oftentimes doctors and other medical practitioners will refuse to treat you or insist that you pay cash for accident-related treatment, another situation where we can provide assistance. If you have been injured, the medical system suddenly gets very complex and difficult to navigate – and Fuller & Fuller is here to help you every step of the way.
It is very important to use medical providers, including massage and chiropractic practitioners, who are covered by your health insurance! You can, of course, choose to receive medical treatment from whomever you would like, but if you choose in-network providers, you will receive more money at the end of your claim than you would if you chose out-of-network providers. Many chiropractors and massage therapists have entered into contracts with health insurance carriers to provide treatment at a reduced rate, increasing your settlement check at the end of your claim.
It is normal for your health insurance to send you forms to fill out. You may also get letters requiring you to provide additional information before your insurance will pay your medical bills. Here at Fuller & Fuller, we have the expertise and experience to guide you through the maze that health insurance coverage can become when you have been injured.
If you have been injured in an auto accident and have more questions about health insurance, please do not hesitate to contact Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys at Law, either via email at [email protected]; through our website contact form; or by telephone at (800) 570-4878. We look forward to helping you.