Drivers who rely on health insurance to pay for auto injuries may be responsible for their own medical bills if they lose or change their health insurance
From: DIFS Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2022
(LANSING, MICH) The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding Michiganders that if someone in their household does not have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage, a change in their health insurance can also affect their auto insurance coverage. Under Michigan’s auto insurance law that went into effect in 2020, eligible Michiganders may now choose to opt out of or exclude themselves or family members from PIP medical, but they must take quick action after a change in health insurance or they risk not having medical coverage in the event of an auto accident.
“Your auto insurance may not be the first thing that comes to mind if you lose your health insurance, but Michiganders may now rely on their health insurance coverage for auto accident injuries and they must take quick action to protect themselves and their families after a change,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “There can be serious financial consequences if someone in your household does not have PIP medical coverage, loses their qualified health coverage, and is then injured in an auto accident without taking the appropriate action.”
Michigan’s auto insurance law now gives Michigan drivers the chance to choose from six different PIP medical coverage levels when they buy or renew their auto insurance. PIP covers medical bills and other expenses for those who are injured in an auto accident.
For people who have Qualified Health Coverage (QHC), two options allow them to remove PIP medical coverage for themselves and/or eligible household members. To count as QHC, the driver’s health insurance policy must not exclude or limit coverage for auto accident injuries and must have an individual deductible of $6,000 or less. Medicare Parts A and B or Medicare Advantage also count as QHC, but VA Health Benefits do not.
If a person who has been excluded from PIP has a change in their health coverage, they may have no medical coverage in the event of an auto accident. To prevent this from happening, DIFS is urging Michiganders who have a health insurance change in their household to A.C.T.:
- A – Ask your auto insurance company or agent about your PIP medical coverage choice and find out if you need QHC to maintain your current selection.
- C – Contact your health insurer to determine if your new policy counts as QHC and to get an updated QHC letter.
- T -Tell your auto insurance company immediately if you lose your QHC. You have 30 days to obtain replacement health insurance or make a different PIP medical selection, or you risk not having medical coverage for yourself and your family in the event of a crash.
Drivers who do not secure replacement PIP medical coverage or QHC will not be entitled to any PIP medical benefits after 30 days, potentially making them personally responsible for their own medical bills in the event of an auto accident.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Consumers with questions about auto insurance can contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 833-ASK-DIFS (833-275-3437) or visit Michigan.gov/AutoInsurance.