What if My Health Insurance Does Not Cover All of My Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

Car accidents can majorly disrupt your life and result in significant unexpected medical bills. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, figuring out how to pay mounting medical bills is one of the most stressful parts of your recovery process. You may have questions like, is my health insurer responsible for these medical bills? Perhaps you have filed a health insurance claim, and your insurer has denied it. In that scenario, are you still responsible for paying for your medical bills? What about your deductible? 

I Did Not Cause the Car Accident: Why Do I Need to Use My Health Insurance?

In North Carolina, drivers at fault for car accidents are responsible for covering all of the victim’s damages. Damages include medical bills, property damage, and other losses related to the car accident. Unfortunately, this coverage is determined by fault. Drivers are required to carry minimum amounts of auto insurance, but many do not. When the driver who caused the accident denies being at fault, the victim will be responsible for paying their medical bills out of pocket. Nonetheless, depending on your specific health insurance coverage, other options may be available.

Why Would My Health Insurance Claim Get Denied? 

After a car accident, you may go to the emergency room or your medical doctor’s office for treatment. You may be surprised that your health insurance company has denied your claim. One of the most common reasons for denial is that your health insurance plan does not cover the medical treatment you received. 

For example, you may have unintentionally received medical treatment from an out-of-network provider. You may still need to meet your deductible and be responsible for paying the total amount of the medical bill. Sometimes, the insurance company may find that the medical service is not medically necessary. As a result of one of these reasons, or another reason, the insurance company may claim that you are responsible for the total cost of the medical treatment. 

Other Insurance Options

If you are in a situation where your health insurance company denies your claim, you may have other options. In North Carolina, all drivers must pay liability insurance, including bodily injury coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and property damage. Unfortunately, none of this coverage will pay for your medical bills. You may be able to use med pay benefits or personal injury protection insurance, depending on your auto insurance policy.

Medical Payment Coverage in North Carolina

If your auto insurance policy includes med pay benefits, these benefits will cover some of the costs of your medical bills if the health insurance company denies your claim. Med pay is supplemental insurance that covers medical expenses for you and your passengers after a car accident. Med pay is also not required in North Carolina, so not all drivers have this coverage. Med pay coverage is typically between $1,000 and $10,000 and serves as “first-party insurance.” It will cover immediate medical bills. Med pay may not cover your expenses but can reduce your overall medical costs. 

Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP)

PIP is a form of auto insurance that helps cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages after a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. North Carolina does not require PIP insurance. PIP is offered as an add-on to a driver’s liability coverage that you already have. When you have PIP insurance, this coverage will help you pay immediate medical bills after the accident, reducing the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket. 

Appealing Your Medical Bills

If you do not have PIP insurance or med pay benefits, your best option could be to negotiate your medical bills with your healthcare providers or the insurance company. You can work to negotiate an interest-free payment plan. You may be able to convince them to drop some of the charges against you or to give you a discount for paying the balance in full. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf if you have significant medical bills. An attorney can also help you appeal the decision of your health insurance company. 

Get Help From an Experienced Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney

You are not alone if you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault and you are struggling to pay your medical bills. The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, are here to help. We will carefully review your case and help you understand your legal options. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free case evaluation. 

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