Car accidents disrupt your life and may result in unexpected medical bills. If you have suffered injuries due to a car accident, the most stressful part may be figuring out how to pay your medical bills. You may have questions such as, is your health insurer responsible? Is the other driver responsible? Or worse, if you file a health insurance claim and your health insurer denies the claim, are you still responsible for paying medical bills?
In North Carolina, the law is that the driver who is determined to be at fault for the accident is responsible for all damages. This includes medical bills, property damage, and any other losses resulting from the accident. Unfortunately, because this coverage is determined by fault, you will have to pay your medical bills while the case is pending. If your health insurance company denies the claim, you will still be responsible for paying your medical bills out of pocket. However, other options are available to you, depending on your insurance.
Why Would My Health Insurance Claim Get Denied?
There are a few reasons why your health insurer may deny your claim. The most common reason is that your health insurance plan does not cover the service you received. This can happen if you receive treatment from an out-of-network provider or if you have not met your deductible. Another reason why your claim may be denied is if the insurance company believes that the service is not medically necessary. If this is the case, you may be responsible for the full cost of the service.
Other Insurance Options
If you find yourself in a situation where your health insurance company has denied your claim, other options are available to you. North Carolina requires drivers to carry liability insurance, including bodily injury coverage, property damage, and uninsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, none of these will cover your medical bills. However, there are other insurance options, such as medpay and personal injury protection insurance, that you can add to your required coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage in North Carolina
If you have medical payments coverage, also known as med pay, this will help to cover some of the costs if your health insurance company denies the claim. Med pay is a type of insurance that helps to cover medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident. This insurance is not required in North Carolina, but it is beneficial to have. Med pay coverage is between $1,000 and $10,000 and serves as a “first party insurance” to cover immediately due to medical bills.
While med pay will not cover all of the costs, it can help reduce your payment amount.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP)
PIP is a type of auto insurance that helps to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages after the accident, regardless of fault. It is also not required in North Carolina. Instead, it is offered as an add-on to liability coverage that you already have.
When you have PIP insurance, the claims process is meant to be quicker than a liability claim that you may file with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Like med pay, it may not cover all of your medical services, but it will help reduce the amount you have to pay out of pocket.
If you don’t have med pay or PIP insurance, your next best option may be to negotiate your medical bills with insurance and health care providers. You can work with them to negotiate an interest-free payment plan, a discount for paying the balance in full, or another solution that will help you pay your bills without them being sent to debt collectors and damaging your credit.
Appealing Your Medical Bills
If you cannot negotiate a payment plan or get your medical bills discounted, you can appeal the decision of your health insurance company. You will need to contact your health insurance company and ask for their appeals process.
Once you have the appeals process, you will need to follow the instructions and submit any required documentation. It is important to note that the appeals process can take several months, so patience is important.
Contact an Attorney at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor
If you have been in a car accident in Charlotte and are worried about how you will pay for your medical bills while your case is pending, we are here to help you. At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, our experienced car accident attorneys are experienced in helping car accident victims get the medical care and coverage they need.