Auto Insurance: Uncovered
How do medical bills related to an “auto accident” get paid?
We deal with some very strange concepts in insurance. One of the more peculiar issues with which we deal is the issue of “No Fault” medical expense coverage. In 1974, Pennsylvania began to require automobile insurance coverage. At that time, they devised a system to ensure that your medical bills would get paid by YOU regardless of who was at fault in ANY automobile accident. What does this mean in English?
The concept was simple. You would be responsible for ALL of your medical bills that resulted from a car accident. This would involve being struck as a pedestrian, pinching your fingers in the car door, sliding off the road in a snow storm or being rear-ended by another party. Here in 2017, your coverage would start with whatever amount of medical expense coverage you carry on your car insurance. The minimum amount of protection is only $5,000. If your medical bills exceed the $5,000, you have a couple of choices. You can buy more coverage from your car insurance carrier or you can rely on your medical or health insurance protection, subject to their limitations.
If this isn’t confusing enough already, your medical coverage from your car insurance follows you wherever you go. So, if you are riding in a car with me and we get rear-ended, my policy pays my medical bills and your policy pays for you. Your daughter slips while getting off the school bus? Your medical policy pays the medical bills.
Confused yet? The automobile insurance law established a hierarchy on how bills would be paid. You look for protection under your own policy first. Don’t have any coverage? Then you would look to a household family member’s policy for protection. Live alone without a car? You would seek protection under the car in which you were riding. What if that car doesn’t have insurance? Then, you would look for coverage from the other car in the accident if there was one. No coverage anywhere? Off to use your health insurance.
It is important that you understand the limitations on the car insurance medical coverage. If you have questions, call your insurance professional. Don’t have an insurance professional? Call us at 610-933-4950.