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What Does Health Insurance Cover in Car Accidents?

Car accidents often result in personal injuries that require medical attention.  Insurance companies offer several types of insurance that cover medical expenses due to an auto accident.  You may think of health insurance as the only form of insurance that covers your medical expenses in an accident. However, you can also obtain either Personal Injury Protection and/or Medical Payment Coverage through your car insurance policy that also covers you and your passengers medical expenses.

What Does Health Insurance versus Car Insurance Cover When A Car Accident Occurs?

Health insurance covers the medical expenses of the individual and family members who are explicitly listed on a health insurance policy.  The extent and limits of your coverage depends on your specific health insurance policy. MedPay and PIP cover yourself, your family members, and any passengers riding in the vehicle during the accident.

>>MORE: What Happens When You’re in a Car Accident With No Insurance?

How Much Does Health Insurance and Car Insurance Cost?

Health insurance typically costs more than car insurance. The average health insurance premium costs approximately $450/month for an individual and $1,200/month for a family. On the other hand, MedPay and PIP typically costs under $25/month.

MedPay is typically priced by coverage ranging from $1,000 to $25,000. For example, $1,000 MedPay insurance coverage in California for a 30-year old female driver with good credit, on average, costs $1.90/month. At $25,000 in coverage, MedPay insurance costs $11.63/month for the same individual. $10,000 PIP insurance coverage in Texas for 30-year old male driver with good credit, on average, costs $12.5 – $20.00/year and about 15-20% total cost of your car insurance.

>>MORE: How Much Will My Insurance Go Up After An Accident?

Should You Have PIP Coverage or MedPay If You Have Health Insurance?

Yes, you can benefit from having either PIP Coverage or MedPay in addition to health insurance. Health insurance typically has deductibles along with other fees that you must pay when you submit a claim. The health insurance deductible for an individual, on average, is slightly less than $1,500 and for a family plan, it’s slightly less than $2,800.  Both PIP Coverage and MedPay, on the other hand, are less likely to have a deductible or fees that you need to pay when you receive medical treatment. In the event of a car accident, your PIP Coverage or MedPay insurance may save you from any out-of-pocket expenses.

PIP Coverage and MedPay pay medical expenses for injured passengers in your car as well. Health insurance only covers people who are specifically listed on the policy. Also, unlike health insurance, PIP Coverage compensates you in lost wages while you are recovering from an accident. If you do not have PIP Coverage but you have short-term or long-term disability insurance, this insurance covers lost wages as well.  Furthermore, PIP Coverage often covers living expenses. Additionally, both PIP coverage and MedPay cover funeral expenses whereas health insurance does not. Moreover, there is always the potential that your health insurance provider may deny your claim. Having additional coverage can keep you from being stuck with a hefty bill.

>>MORE: What Is Accident Forgiveness, Should You Get It and Who Offers It?

Do you use your Health Insurance or PIP/MedPay first?

If you do have either PIP Coverage or MedPay, you should submit your claim through this insurance first. PIP and MedPay typically do not have deductibles unlike health insurance that does have a deductible. In addition, health insurance policies generally have a subrogation clause which means that if you are owed any money related to you medical reimbursement costs, the health insurance company is entitled to this money.  Therefore, you should first use your PIP/MedMay allowance. This subrogation also applies to claims filed against the other driver’s bodily injury liability insurance. Furthermore, even if you do not file a liability claim, your health insurance company has the option to file a claim against the other driver if he or she is at fault to recoup their expenses.

>>MORE: How To Get A New Car After A Total Loss Accident?

Is Health Insurance Alone Sufficient?

No, health insurance alone is not enough.  However, if you have disability insurance and life insurance, you may not need PIP Coverage or MedPay.  This is true if you typically only have people listed on your health insurance policy as passengers.  You may wish to limit your car insurance premium by relying mostly on your health insurance coverage to provide you with medical care following an accident.  This allows you to keep your auto insurance premium lower.

>>MORE: How Much Do Insurance Companies Pay For A Totaled Car?

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