Victim of Horrific Car Crash Was Lucky To Have a Rock-Solid Insurance Policy
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When shopping for car insurance, it’s important to prepare for the worst. Of course, no one wants to think about what “the worst” actually means, especially when it comes to car accidents.
For instance, Mark Gottlieb of New Jersey probably never expected to be in a car accident that would seriously damage four vertebrae in his upper spine and smash six teeth. But that’s exactly what happened when a driver crashed into his car in January 2019.
And according to NPR, even though Gottlieb had high personal injury protection coverage in his car insurance policy with Geico, he still had some hurdles to overcome when it came to his medical expenses.
What is personal injury coverage in car insurance?
New Jersey, like several other states, already requires drivers to have personal injury protection coverage on their car insurance plan, and luckily for Gottlieb he had the maximum coverage at $250,000.
Personal injury protection coverage covers the cost of injuries associated with an accident. With this type of car insurance, the injuries are covered by the policy no matter who is to blame for the accident.
In other words, rather than the at-fault driver being responsible for the costs associated with the accident, medical bill payments are made in a timely manner by the insurance company.
Mark Gottlieb’s tragic story
In Gottlieb’s case, even though he had the maximum amount of personal injury protection coverage, he still needed more help.
And why is that? As NPR explains, car insurers generally use payment calculations other than network rates for medical bills. Since not every medical billing code is listed, car insurers sometimes pay whatever the provider bills.
That’s why Gottlieb’s bills were high, even with reductions through his Geico plan—his bill had some billing codes that are not on the state’s schedule. As a result, Geico paid exactly what was charged for many of the expenses.
Eventually, as medical bills continued to roll in, Gottlieb’s personal injury protection plan actually ran out. So when he submitted a bill for his surgery to his health insurance provider, Aetna, he discovered that the hospital and surgeon were both out of network.
He hadn’t bothered to check beforehand if they were in-network, because he didn’t think that exhausting his car insurance policy would be a problem.
As NPR explains, Geico partly paid nearly $245,000 to the hospital and surgeon for Gottlieb’s procedure, leaving some experts to point out that this surgeon’s bill was particularly high compared to what Medicare would have paid, as well what private insurance usually pays.
The lesson to be learned here is that it’s important to have adequate personal injury protection coverage in your car insurance policy.
For Gottlieb’s situation, it was a good thing he had the _maximum _amount of personal injury coverage, because it saved him from having to pay so much more.
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