Health insurance is a common component of everyday life. In the event of a medical emergency, a person can use it to cover expensive healthcare costs. Health insurance can also cover routine exams and checkups.
However, navigating health insurance coverage can be an enormous task. Although auto insurance and health insurance are separate forms of insurance, there could be possible connections if you are injured in an accident.
Who is responsible for medical costs?
Typically, when car accident injuries occur, the auto insurance company has the primary responsibility to cover the cost.
Alabama requires drivers to purchase liability insurance with the following minimums:
- $25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person
- $50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more people
Parties involved in a car accident often pay in this order:
- The at-fault driver’s auto insurance company is expected to pay the medical bills first.
- If the healthcare insurance happens to pay first, then the health insurance will make a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company for reimbursement.
- Once you exhaust all other forms of payment, your health insurance will have final financial responsibility for the treatment of your injuries.
What is and is not covered will depend on what the health insurance policy includes. However, injured patients will likely still have to pay:
- The deductible amount under the health insurance plan
- Charges not covered by the plan
Accident and Injury Statistics
In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) documented nearly 6.5 million police-reported traffic accidents.
- 2.7 million of those injuries required medical attention.
- According to the NHTSA, the total cost of accidents in the U.S. is over $230 billion per year.
- The Alabama Department of Transportation reported 46,383 injuries from crashes in the state in 2019.
- Injuries occurred in accidents every 11 minutes and 19 seconds in Alabama.
In short, determining who is responsible for medical bills after a car accident can be tricky. There may be multiple insurance agencies involved, which can turn a potentially life-altering accident into a confusing maze that is difficult to navigate. Thankfully, you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself.
If you have been injured in a car accident and need assistance determining who is responsible for your medical bills, please call the experienced attorneys at the law firm of Siniard, Timberlake & League. We can help.