What Happens When PIP Coverage Runs Out?
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Jul 09, 2019 in Insurance Issues
Personal injury protection (PIP) is an important part of insurance policies that are issued in the state of Oregon. In fact, all automotive insurance policies that are issued must include a minimum PIP coverage of at least $15,000. When you file a claim after a car accident, PIP will cover the necessary and reasonable medical expenses caused by the accident.
So, what happens if your PIP coverage runs out? As you might imagine, medical expenses stemming from an injury in a car accident will build up quickly. That is why many who are concerned that a $15,000 coverage is not enough to cover all of the medical bills they could face after an Oregon car accident opt for higher coverage.
How Could PIP Run Out?
Since PIP coverage is required for all auto insurance policies underwritten in Oregon, it is important for you to know what it covers. Along with bills for medical treatments, PIP also pays for medical transportation, medical supplies and lost wages. Another benefit to using PIP is that, unlike healthcare insurance, it does not require a deductible. However, on the downside, PIP pays medical providers at a discounted rate, so many of the high-end providers will not accept PIP.
The total benefit amount, however, is solely dependent on how much personal injury protection coverage you purchased under your insurance policy. If you are concerned that the minimum protection may not be enough in the event you are in a car accident, you may decide to increase your PIP coverage.
At Rizk Law, we have seen how quickly PIP coverage runs out for many of our clients, so we encourage consumers to consider purchasing a higher amount of personal injury protection. If you opted for only the minimum coverage required by the state of Oregon, your PIP will provide the following benefits if you are injured in a car accident, even if the accident was your fault:
- Up to $15,000 to cover medical expenses for all bills incurred within two years from the date of the accident.
- If your injury causes you to miss more than 14 consecutive days of work, you will be paid up to $3,000 per month or 70 percent of your lost wages, whichever amount is less. This benefit is paid for up to 52 weeks.
- Essential services, including daily household tasks and caring for your family, are also covered with a maximum payout of $30 per day for up to 52 weeks. Coverage kicks in after two weeks of disability.
Track the Payments Made with Your PIP Policy
When injured in Oregon, it is worthwhile to track all payments made with your PIP policy. Why is this necessary? Although it may seem tedious, it will alert you to when your benefits are about to run out. Before reaching that point, make sure you allow enough time to contact your health insurance company to find out what medical services your health plan will cover.
You can also contact Medicare to see if you are eligible for additional coverage. When you are trying to recover, the last thing you want is a large, unexpected bill or to be denied the medical treatment that you need.
Using Your Health Insurance
Once your PIP coverage limit has been exhausted ($15,000), your health insurance coverage should automatically take over if you are still receiving treatment for your injuries. However, even though this happens in most cases, communicating with them beforehand helps to avoid any administrative errors that might delay payment for your medical services.
It is also important to note that there are still some limitations:
- Verify your insurance company covers car accidents, not all do
- The policy holder will have to pay health insurance deductibles out of pocket
- The policy holder is responsible for all health insurance co-payments
- Health insurance does not cover lost wages or other non-medical expenses
If your PIP coverage is exhausted and you became permanently disabled due to the injuries you suffered in the accident, you may qualify for some benefits under Medicare. Additionally, if you can prove you have a limited income, you may also qualify for coverage under Medicaid.
Letter of Protection
If you receive treatment from a chiropractor, he or she may want you to sign a letter of protection. These letters state that the doctor will continue to treat you with the understanding and assurance that he or she will be paid out of the proceeds when the insurance company agrees to a settlement.
The problem with a letter of protection is it could reduce your share of the settlement, unless the doctor is treating you for a serious injury the requires more treatment and documentation. This is why Rizk Law generally encourages accident victims not to sign these letters.
Contact Rizk Law to Schedule a Consultation Today
Did you or a loved one suffer an injury in an Oregon car accident? Are you worried that your PIP coverage will not be enough to pay for all of your medical bills?
If so, you need to speak to an experienced Portland car accident attorney from Rizk Law immediately.