After a car accident, if you’ve suffered an injury and property damage, you may feel overwhelmed by what to do next. How to pay for your mounting medical bills sits at the forefront of your worries.
Additionally, there may be no confirmation from your doctor as to when you can go back to work and start earning income again. If covered by Medicare or Medicaid, you may wonder, Does Medicare or Medicaid cover auto accidents?
Read on to determine whether you can rely on Medicare after an auto accident to help alleviate your financial burden. Retaining the counsel of a qualified personal injury attorney serves to lighten the financial burden you may be feeling after a car accident in Florida.
How are Medical Bills Paid After an Auto Accident?
Florida operates as a no-fault state when it comes to auto accidents. For this reason, every driver is required to maintain a personal injury protection (PIP) policy.
Florida laws require every registered driver in Florida to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage. After a car accident in Florida, this coverage is used first.
Unfortunately, PIP policies only cover 80% of your medical bills and expenses up to $10,000. Therefore, you may wonder where to obtain additional coverage for your expenses. Many people often turn to their Medicare or Medicaid coverage after an auto accident. However, there may be another option.
Some people purchase additional insurance coverage referred to as Med Pay insurance. You may use Med Pay insurance to cover the 20% of your bills that PIP doesn’t pay. Med Pay insurance also covers 100% of your medical expenses after you exhaust your PIP coverage, up to your Med Pay policy limits.
You can purchase Med Pay insurance as an optional addition to your auto insurance policy to cover medical expenses after a car accident.
In some situations, Med Pay policies sufficiently cover all additional expenses left outstanding after PIP coverage is exhausted.
But what happens when your Med Pay insurance and your PIP coverage fail to cover all your expenses? In this situation, you may seek other ways to cover medical bills after an auto accident.
Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Auto Accidents?
If seriously injured and put out of work due to your injuries, $10,000 may not adequately compensate you for your losses. If you are a Medicare or Medicaid recipient, you may presume that you may also use these policies to pay additional expenses. However, that is not always the case.
Florida laws require you to use your PIP coverage or other health insurance first for all expenses and damages.
However, if your insurance fails to pay your no-fault claim within 120 days, your doctor or other providers may bill your Medicare or Medicaid. So while the question of Does Medicare or Medicaid cover auto accident injuries? may be answered affirmatively, it may not be quite so cut and dried.
When your Medicare or Medicaid does cover your auto accident injuries in Florida, the coverage of your expenses is not as simple as insurance coverage.
Medicare and Medicaid are often referred to as secondary payers. After exhausting other avenues of coverage for your injuries, you may tap into Medicare or Medicaid to cover your auto accident injuries.
However, Medicare or Medicaid often provide conditional payments. Conditional payments are payments made for services for which another payer may be responsible.
For example, an insurance company failing to cover your expenses after 120 days prompts Medicare to step in. However, Medicare and Medicaid require payback of these conditional payments.
Upon payment of a conditional payment, Medicare and Medicaid promptly initiate Medicare liens or Medicaid liens. So while Medicare and Medicaid do cover auto accidents, payback is required if any other party can be held responsible.
Medicare and Medicaid liens expect to be repaid from personal injury settlements or, in some cases, your other insurance funds. You may wish to appeal Medicare or Medicaid demands for repayment.
However, negotiating with Medicare and Medicaid proves a difficult task. Therefore, it is vital to always consult with a personal injury attorney when determining how best to handle payment of your medical bills and property damage losses.
Your attorney may advise you of other avenues to pursue before tapping into your Medicare or Medicaid coverage to pay for your auto accident injuries.
How Can We Help
Dealing with Medicaid and Medicare involves a deep understanding of incredibly complex and time-consuming rules and regulations.
After suffering the trauma and pain of a car accident, financial burdens and physical pain may be at the forefront of your mind. You may worry whether your Medicare or Medicaid covers your auto accident injuries and losses.
Attorney Wendy Doyle-Palumbo understands clients’ needs and works diligently on their behalf.
Whether through settlement or litigation, Wendy provides personalized, focused representation for clients. She understands that each client experience is unique.
Wendy Doyle-Palumbo works to resolve client issues through mediation and negotiation. However, with years of experience litigating, she is ready to go to trial if that is the best path forward for you.
Contact our office today for a free case consultation! Let us help you get back on your feet!