In a prior article, we talked about Med Pay and how it can help pay your medical bills in a car accident (http://mrscvlaw.com/santa-clarita-personal-injury-attorney/car-and-vehicle-accidents.htm). So, you might be wondering “Should I carry Med Pay on my auto insurance even if I have health insurance? The simple answer is “yes." Why?
First, not all health insurance policies (e.g. Kaiser Permanente) cover or offer chiropractic treatment, which is what you may need following an auto accident (http://mrscvlaw.com/santa-clarita-personal-injury-attorney/car-and-vehicle-accidents.htm). Victims of car accidents generally suffer soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash (http://mrscvlaw.com/santa-clarita-personal-injury-attorney/whiplash-injuries.htm). They may also suffer from other types of injuries, such as broken bones, but that is generally in addition to soft tissue injuries. More often than not, soft tissue injuries need chiropractic treatment, and if your health insurance (like Kaiser Permanente) does not cover chiropractic treatment, then its benefits may be limited in case you suffer from soft tissues injuries only.
Second, your choice of a health care provider may be limited if you have to choose from a pre-approved network of health care providers accepted by your health insurance company.
Third, under some health insurance policies, you would need to get a referral from your primary care doctor before additional treatment. If your health insurance policy requires such a referral, then your treatment can be delayed which can hurt you (because you are in pain) and your case (if you wish to proceed with a civil action).
It is important to remember that Med Pay should not be substituted in place of health insurance, and you should carry Med Pay in addition to health insurance. In fact, under certain situations, your health insurance can help you in conjunction with your Med Pay. If you are covered by health insurance, submit as many bills as you can to your health insurance first because (unlike Med Pay) you may not have a policy limit on your health insurance. Try not to use Med Pay for emergency care, urgent care, hospital and/or ambulance bills. Submit these bills to your health insurance and keep the Med Pay open for treatments such as chiropractic bills, co-pays and medication.
We recommend that you contact your auto insurance agent and ask him or her if you have Med Pay provision on your policy and how the Med Pay works because they are different types of Med Pay provisions which are covered by different insurance companies. This is yet another reason why it is a good idea to purchase insurance through an agent as opposed to purchasing it online (do you hear me Progressive Insurance?).
If you are in an accident, you may also wish to speak with a personal injury attorney (http://mrscvlaw.com/about-the-mason-law-firm.htm). An experienced accident attorney can work with you and your insurance companies to best protect you. So, it is very important to speak with a lawyer following an accident, regardless of the type of insurance you may or may not carry.
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