If you are injured in a car accident, one of your first concerns will probably involved your medical bills. After all, an ambulance ride to the hospital can cost over $2,000 alone.
Fortunately, Massachusetts is a “no-fault” state, which means that your car insurance policy is responsible for paying a portion of your medical bills after an accident, even if someone else caused the accident. This way your medical bills can get paid immediately even if it is not clear who was responsible for causing the accident.
There are twelve parts to the standard Massachusetts auto policy. The first four parts are compulsory. One of those compulsory sections is called Personal Injury Protection – also referred to as PIP benefits.
Assuming you don’t have a deductible on your policy, your car insurance company will pay the first $2,000 of your medical bills under this section of the policy. Again, it doesn’t matter who caused the accident. You, and anyone in your car at the time of the accident, are still covered under this section.
If you have private medical insurance, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield or Harvard Pilgrim, then your health insurance carrier will be responsible for paying your medical bills after the $2,000 limit is reached. However, if your health insurance won’t cover a payment due to a co-pay or deductible, then those bills go back to your car insurance carrier to be paid under the PIP benefits up to $8,000.
If you do not have health insurance, or if you have a public health insurance plan such as Masshealth (Medicaid) or Medicare, then your car insurance company will pay up to the full $8,000 before your health insurance will be billed for anything.
There are a few exceptions, the most important of which is a situation where an individual has elected to have a deductible on their PIP benefits. Insurance carriers will sell you insurance policies where you will save a little in order to have a deductible on your PIP benefits. NEVER EVER DO THIS! The amount of money you will save by having a deductible on your PIP benefits is very minor while the impact it will have on your case if you are involved in an accident can be substantial.
If you would like to know more about PIP benefits or the interplay of insurance coverage after an accident, feel free to contact me at 978-852-0914.