Do I Need PIP Insurance If I Have Medicare?

Personal injury protection covers medical expenses and lost wages if you get involved in a car accident. But what if you are already covered by Medicare, should you opt out of PIP medical coverage? Read on to know more.

Facts About Michigan’s Amended Auto Insurance Law

Before July 2020, all owners of motor vehicles needed to purchase unlimited personal injury protection as part of their no-fault coverage. However, with the amended Michigan law on motor vehicle insurance, motorists can choose from six levels of PIP coverage.

The six levels are the following:

  • Unlimited lifetime coverage (This is similar to the old No-Fault system)
  • $0 PIP medical coverage
  • $50,000 limit (for those with Medicaid)
  • $250,000 limit with PIP medical exclusion
  • $250,000 PIP medical coverage
  • $500,000 PIP medical coverage

What Is PIP Coverage? What Are The Benefits Of Personal Injury Protection?

PIP medical coverage is additional coverage to your auto policy. For example, if you get involved in a car accident, personal injury protection (PIP) will pay your medical expenses and lost wages. PIP benefits also cover medical mileage, replacement services, and attendant care.

Depending on the PIP limits, your personal injury protection coverage will help pay for the injuries you or your passengers sustained in an auto accident. Victims who sustained auto accident injuries can claim no-fault PIP benefits from their auto insurer regardless of who is at fault.

What Is Qualified Health Coverage For PIP Medical?

According to the new law, Qualified Health Coverage or QHC, refers to health or accident coverage that does not exclude or limit coverage for injuries related to motor vehicle accidents and has an annual individual deductible of $6000 or less. QHC may also refer to coverage under Medicare Parts A and B.

What Coverage Options Are Available To Medicare Recipients?

Medicare recipients have different coverage options under the new law.

  • Recipients can keep the unlimited PIP medical coverage that they previously had.
  • They can choose any limited PIP medical coverage options of $250,000 or $500,000 limit.
  • If they are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, they have the choice to opt out of PIP medical coverage. However, if they opt out entirely, the spouse or any resident relatives of the policyholder must have qualified health coverage that includes auto accident injuries.

Can I Choose Not To Get PIP Medical Coverage If I’m Not On Medicare?

Yes, under the Limited PIP medical coverage of $250,000 with exclusion, you can choose to opt out. However, you have to meet these two conditions:

  1. The named insured must have both Parts A and B of Medicare, AND
  2. All the resident relatives have QHC or should be covered by another motor insurance policy with PIP medical coverage.

You should be able to provide proof that you meet the eligibility requirements before you are allowed to opt out of personal injury protection medical.

Under The New Michigan Law, Does Medicaid Cover Injuries From a Vehicular Accident?

If you are one of the Medicaid recipients, you can choose the $50,000 medical coverage limit. In case of a car accident and once the medical bills exceed $50,000, Medicaid will pay for the accident-related medical care afterward.

What Is The Effect Of The New Michigan No-Fault Law On Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Medical Coverage?

With the new Michigan No-Fault Law, drivers can now choose from different levels of PIP coverage. Instead of requiring all motorists to carry policies that have unlimited lifetime PIP benefits, the new system gives a range of choices to drivers depending on their budget and needs.

Will Medicare Cover Costs Related To My Accident If I Keep My PIP Medical Benefits?

If you have Medicare coverage, you can retain your unlimited lifetime PIP medical coverage. You can also choose the other limited options of $250,000 or $500,000 limit.

In case of car accident-related injuries, Medicare will cover these costs after the coverage limits are reached. This is for those Medicare enrollees who opted for limited coverage levels. On the other hand, for those who chose to continue their unlimited lifetime coverage, their no-fault policy will cover all the medical expenses related to the accident.

Will Medicare Pay My Medical Bills If I’m Injured In An Auto Accident?

Medicare covers the medical costs of auto accident-related injuries, provided you have no other health insurance coverage. With the new auto insurance law, you can choose not to have PIP medical coverage and simply rely on Medicare coverage (Parts A & B) for your auto accident injuries.

What If I Have An Auto Accident Outside Of Michigan?

Michigan residents who are injured in a car crash while in another state may be able to claim within the state for no-fault benefits. Those who are qualified to receive no-fault benefits include:

  • Named insured on the auto policy
  • Spouses of the named insured on the auto policy
  • Any other relative living with the named insured on the auto policy
  • Those who are occupying the insured vehicle with a no-fault policy. However, the occupant should be a Michigan resident or the registrant of the vehicle, or its owner is insured under a no-fault policy.

What Happens If I Am Covered By Another Health Insurance Plan In Addition To Medicare?

You may be covered by another health insurance plan and have Medicare at the same time. If aside from Medicare, you are covered by a group health plan, the primary payor in case of an accident is the group plan. But, if the employer has less than 20 employees, Medicare is the primary payor.

For Medicare recipients with disabilities who are at the same time covered by the large group care plan health insurance, the group plan is the primary payor. Medicare would pay first in case the employer has less than 100 employees.

Meanwhile, Medicare is the primary payor for retirees who remain under the coverage of the employer’s group health plan.

Does Medicare Cover The Same Services As Michigan No-Fault?

The coverage of Medicare is not as comprehensive as no-fault motor vehicle insurance. Michigan no-fault medical coverage pays all reasonable and necessary expenses related to the auto accident. If it is an unlimited lifetime PIP, there are no limits for as long as the treatments are required for the patient’s recovery.

In contrast, Medicare covers only specific services. Rehabilitative therapy is not included. Moreover, Medicare services are subject to co-payments and deductibles.

Some examples of services not covered by Medicare are the following:

When Can I Sue The At-Fault Driver For Damages After a Car Accident?

Within three years after the date of the car accident, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The injured driver or victim can sue the driver for pain and suffering that caused serious impairment of the victim’s body function.

If the victim is under limited coverage and the medical costs exceed the coverage level of the PIP, the victim can file a lawsuit for the excess medical benefits.

Do I Need PIP Coverage In Michigan If I Have Another Insurance?

Even if you have health insurance, you need PIP coverage. This is because PIP may cover accident expenses that health policy won’t cover. For instance, regular health insurance normally excludes non-medical expenses such as lost wages, physical therapy, and death benefits. Further, if health plans cover medical expenses, you will have to pay the deductibles first before you can get these benefits.

What Compensation Can You Claim?

Personal injury protection covers specific expenses up to the policy limits. These include the following:

Ask a Qualified Car Accident Lawyer For a Free Consultation About Your Legal Rights And Options.

Personal injury protection PIP can be a complicated matter. Working with an experienced car accident attorney from The Clark Law Office can help you better understand the best option to choose when it comes to PIP coverage.

If you or your loved one were in a car accident, we are ready to help you address your concerns. Let our lawyers handle your queries personally. Contact us now for a free consultation.

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