MEDPAY crucial in accidents
February 10, 2004
Have you bought MEDPAY for your auto insurance? If not, you may not have medical coverage if you are in a car accident.
As a doctor who treats auto accident victims, I am concerned that most people do not understand the recent changes to Colorado auto insurance.
Colorado has gone from having a no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) system to having a tort-based system of auto insurance. This change has profound implications with regards to medical coverage in an accident.
If you are in an accident which you did not cause, in order to get medical treatment paid for, you now have to be acknowledged as not at fault and haggle with the other driver’s insurance company. Even then the insurance company will not pay for your ongoing medical care; rather, they will pay your health care providers “at the time of settlement.”
This means that unless your provider agrees to treat you for free, with the hopes of being paid at some ill-defined and uncertain future settlement (and many won’t), you will have to pay out of pocket. You may have to hire an attorney to ensure an equitable settlement. If you cause an accident or are in a one-car accident, you will have no medical coverage at all.
I have had numerous patients come into my office who have been shocked to learn that they have no coverage for needed treatments.
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In order to avoid this unfortunate situation, you can purchase a MEDPAY option on your auto insurance. Doing so will save you much aggravation and will ensure that you have some money to pay for treatment. Depending on your insurance, this coverage can be less than $10 a month.
Relying on health insurance is not a good option. Not only will you have to pay off your deductible, almost all insurance plans in the valley have extremely limited benefits for rehabilitation care, the most likely type of care you will need after an accident. You will end up paying out of pocket or not getting the care you need and paying later.
Please, don’t wait until you are in an accident. Call your insurance rep. and ask about a MEDPAY option today.
Dr. Scott Tesoro