Everything You Need to Know About Using Health Insurance After a Car Wreck
September 9, 2022
5 Things That Your Insurance Company Won’t Tell You After a Wreck
It’s not uncommon for a person to sustain injuries after a car wreck. These injuries can range from minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises to bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Unfortunately, many Louisianians lack the resources they need to pay medical bills after the unexpected occurs, and those who have themselves been injured in a crash know how burdensome those bills can become. After one glance at a steep medical bill, most people immediately decide to rely on their health insurance to cover the costs, as no one wants to risk medical debt. However, paying a deductible anywhere from $200-$3000 is enough to seriously impact the average person’s individual finances, especially after an injury.
At Anderson Traylor Edwards, we frequently hear clients express concerns about paying for their medical expenses after an injury. We’ve created a short FAQ to assist those who are navigating the process of seeking care after a car wreck.
1. Does Louisiana require drivers to carry personal injury protection insurance?
No. Unlike most other states, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage is not required in Louisiana. Drivers can instead purchase medical payments insurance (known as MedPay) to cover personal medical expenses incurred by a crash, regardless of fault.
2. Do I have to use my health insurance to cover my injuries?
No. There is no requirement that you use your health insurance after being injured in a wreck. There are times when using health insurance is incredibly beneficial: i.e., if you are taken by ambulance to the ER or will require an extended hospital stay. However, every insurance plan is different. Many plans have high deductibles, high out-of-pocket requirements, or limited in-network provider options. Anderson Traylor Edwards can help determine all options available to you.
3. Will my health insurance want its money back after treatment?
The short answer is simply: it depends! Whenever your health insurance carrier pays for treatment caused by someone else's negligence, it has the right to recover the funds. Typically, that means your health insurance carrier files a “lien” against your personal injury claim by sending a letter to the at-fault automobile insurance carrier and/or your attorney.
Medicaid, Medicare, and military health insurance require reimbursement from you, the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, and/or your attorney. Navigating these lien issues can be confusing, but Anderson Traylor Edwards can help determine the total amount that needs to be repaid to your health insurance, handle the paperwork, attempt to negotiate a reduction of a repayment amount, and handle payment once your case is resolved.
4. Will health insurance cover medical bills in full?
Sometimes yes, but sometimes no. Most health insurance companies have policies that only cover doctor visits and hospital stays. Some private insurers limit treatment to in-network facilities or require extensive pre-approval before permitting treatment. Most insurance plans, however, will NOT cover ongoing treatment, such as physical or occupational therapy that may be necessary after a serious injury.
We want to help you navigate the confusing process of seeking medical care so that you can focus on your recovery. Schedule a free consultation with Anderson Traylor Edwards to get the compensation you deserve.
5. Does health insurance cover non-medical bills?
Generally, no. Even after paying your medical bills, there are costs associated with recovery that can quickly add up. Examples include wage losses (due to time off work), over-the-counter medicine, special pillows, wraps, and personal pain and suffering.
The good news is that you’re in great hands. Contact Anderson Traylor Edwards through our website, or give us a call at 985-345-7777 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of Hammond’s leading personal injury attorneys. Our attorneys will discuss your case, answer any legal questions you may have, and give you professional advice regarding the best course of action for your claim. But don’t wait too long — the state of Louisiana has a strict statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim!