Why Should I use My Health Insurance to Pay for My Medical Bills If The Accident Wasn't My Fault?

If you're hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle wreck and it was someone else's fault, you'd naturally expect the other person's insurance to pay your medical bills. Since they caused the accident, they should be responsible for your injuries and other damages, right? 

Unfortunately, there's a common setback to this logic. The other person's insurance company is NOT going to pay your medical bills while your treatment is still ongoing. Insurance companies will only pay you after your doctor's appointments, surgeries, physical therapy and other treatments are complete. 

Additionally, the other driver's insurance company might refuse to pay for treatments you receive that they feel were unnecessary. That's a different topic, and you can read more about it here


Use Your Health Insurance or Face the Consequences

When you're hurt in an auto accident, you need to seek treatment quickly. Not only does an immediate trip to the doctor help your health, it can also help your case if you have to file a lawsuit later down the line. 

If you have health insurance, it's wise to use it to pay your medical bills as they're incurred. Why? Depending on the severity of the accident, it's possible to rack up thousands of dollars in medical expenses. By using your own insurance, you won't have to worry about your bills as you're trying to recover from your injuries. (Take note, the other party's insurance will NOT pay your bills as they come up, but rather will pay them all at one time at the end once the case it settled).

Furthermore, using your own insurance prevents your bills from being sent to a collection agency and possibly causing you credit problems. It's another sad story I see too often: people don't even realize their unpaid bills are hurting their credit, and by the time they turn around to fix the mistake, it's too late. (There's a time limit to submit your medical bills to your insurance, sometimes as short as 30 days). 


Will Using Your Own Health Insurance Save You Money? 

Don't forget, you're only using your health insurance as you're waiting for your claim to settle. At the end of your case, (assuming it's successful), you'll receive a settlement from the other driver's insurance company. 

In the long run, you'll likely end up paying less for your medical treatment since you won't have to pay all your medical providers back separately after your claim is settled. Your health insurance company has a contractual agreement with your medical providers and the insurance company usually pays only a portion of the fee charged; the remainder of the fee is discounted. 

When your claim is finally settled, your health insurance company will ask for reimbursement (it’s called subrogation). The reimbursement amount from a subrogation is usually less than was actually paid to the doctors, hospitals, etc. This means that if you use your own health insurance, more of the settlement money at the end of the case will go directly to you.



Other Articles You Might Be Interested In:

Medical Liens and Subrogation

What To Do If You Don't Have Health Insurance

Deadline For Filing Personal Injury Claims

Being Treated Unfairly by Your Insurance Company