Some health insurance policies exclude coverage for injuries sustained in a car accident. Depending on the terms, your policy could cover none, some, or all of the medical expenses resulting from injuries from a car crash. 

If your health insurer pays for such injuries, whether the other driver was uninsured or underinsured isn’t typical of any concern to them (except for subrogation purposes with the at-fault party, which shouldn’t affect your claims to your insurer).

Health insurance policies also vary by state and insurance provider, so before declining all medical coverage on your car insurance policy, such as medical payments (Med Pay), uninsured motorist (UM), underinsured motorist (UIM) or personal injury protection (PIP), you need to review and understand the specific details of your health insurance policy.

I find that contacting a representative of your health insurance company to discuss your coverages and what benefits you have if in an auto accident is easier than trying to decipher a health insurance policy on your own. 

Is your health or car insurance medical coverage primary? 

Typically, your car insurance medical is primary and your health insurance is secondary if you carry both, but this can vary by state.  For example, the New Jersey insurance regulator describes how you can designate your health insurer to be your primary source of medical care should you be injured in a car crash, so if you were in an auto accident your health insurance would pay first and your auto insurer would be secondary through your PIP benefits.

If both your health insurer and car insurer pay for medical bills, will your health insurer ask to be reimbursed for claims they paid on? 

The answer is usually yes if there were overlapping payments paid out by insurers for the same medical expenses.

Is there any health insurance coverage for passengers of your automobile? 

Probably not, unless the passenger is also on your health policy, but knowing the answer can help you determine if you want to carry MedPay or PIP so that your car’s passengers will have some medical coverage if that is of importance to you.

If you find that your health insurance doesn’t cover you for auto accident injuries, then take time to seriously evaluate the benefits of medical coverage that your car insurance provider has to offer. 

Even if your health insurer does cover injuries related to a car crash (so you don’t feel the need for MedPay or PIP), carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury may be worth the cost if you want to have the ability to claim for lost wages and pain and suffering – items that your health insurer won’t cover.

If you are uncertain if you can afford medical coverage as part of your car insurance policy, get quotes for a policy with and without medical coverage to compare costs and make a decision.

— Penny Gusner contributed to this story.

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Contributing Writer

Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions. When not writing, you can find her reading a book or watching anime.