I’ve recently been made aware of a trend which concerns me. Some victims of auto accidents have been discouraged from using the Med Pay portion of their auto insurance by their insurance agent or adjustor to avoid “a hassle” or “opening up a can of worms”. They are advised to use their health insurance instead. Unlike health insurance which is subject to exclusions and out of pocket expenses such as deductibles and co-pays, med pay covers 100% of auto accident related medical, chiropractic, massage therapy and physical therapy. Using your health insurance may not allow you to receive the care you need for complete recovery.
Med Pay is primary for auto accident related care, and should be exhausted before applying for health insurance benefits. Health insurance policies exclude auto accident care unless medical benefits are exhausted, and then will expect to be reimbursed if there is a settlement with the at-fault party (Med Pay covers regardless of fault). Not informing your health insurance that your care is auto accident related is fraud.
Med Pay in Colorado has a $5000 minimum benefit for auto unless you waive coverage. Cost of emergency care can add up quickly with ambulance, emergency room, MRIs initially and later medical, chiropractic, massage therapy and physical therapy office visits. For that reason I recommend having the maximum coverage available (I carry $25,000 in Med Pay). The additional cost is small relative to the benefit.
Your insurance rates cannot be raised if you were not at fault in the accident, even if you use your Med Pay benefits. If you were at fault, they will generally be raised regardless. If your insurance company advises you not to use the Med Pay benefits you pay for, they do not have your welfare in mind, just their profits.
If you have any questions about auto accidents regarding evaluation, treatment or coverage, please fee to contact our office. I will be happy to do a phone or in-office consultation at no charge.
Dr. Mike Kleker