We frequently get calls from people injured in a car accident, that was not their fault, they have gone to the hospital or their doctor or urgent care and were asked for their health insurance information. Many think, well why should I use my health insurance, it was not my fault, the other persons auto insurance should pay my medical expenses. Well, you are correct, they should be responsible for any medical expenses you incur because of their negligence; however, they do not pay as you go. Typically, after an auto insurance company has notice that their insured was in a collision, they will investigate fault and when they determine their insured was at fault, they will review all the cost or losses claimed by the not at fault party. They will then negotiate with that person or their lawyer and ultimately pay them directly and that person or their lawyer then pays the medical providers.
So, by using your health insurance you get the medical treatment you need quickly, without it costing you money out of your savings account and you are not getting bills from the medical provider telling you that you owe them money.
Current law in North Carolina allows the auto insurance company to get the benefit of any medical bill reduction you have, which is (in my opinion) ridiculous and unfair, but it still makes more sense to use your health insurance. Let me give you an example, your hospital cost is $5,000. The at fault persons insurance owes you that $5,000. If you use your health insurance and it only has to pay $2500 to satisfy that medical bill the at fault party owes the $2500 to satisfy that bill not the $5,000. So, the insurance company got a $2500 savings which should (in my opinion) go to you. So why use the health insurance? Several reasons, piece of mind, timely care, no stress of past due payment notices, and in the end, you are going to resolve your case for its value or go to court.
I look at insurance like “safety nets” and I want as many “safety nets” as I can under me. If I can have health insurance, someone responsible with auto insurance coverage, and plenty of underinsured motorist coverage myself, that means I have three “safety nets” to help me recover medically and financially. The more nets the better for me, and I bet for you too.