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DIFS Urges Consumers to Take Steps to Ensure They Have Medical Coverage in the Event of an Auto Accident
April 21, 2023
Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779, DIFSfirstname.lastname@example.org
Consumer Hotline: 833-ASK-DIFS, AutoInsurance@michigan.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2023
(LANSING, MICH) The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is urging consumers who opted out of or excluded themselves or a family member from Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage on their auto insurance policies to promptly contact their auto insurance company or agent to confirm they are still eligible for that option whenever they have a change to their health insurance coverage. In some cases, failure to act within 30 days could potentially expose affected Michiganders to severe financial consequences, such as being personally liable for their own medical bills after an auto accident.
“Michigan consumers can choose the level of PIP medical coverage that best fits their needs and budget, but having this choice creates an important connection between health insurance and auto insurance,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Michiganders who choose to opt out of or exclude themselves or family members from PIP medical coverage are required to maintain Qualified Health Coverage (QHC). Drivers who do not maintain or lose QHC and who fail to take timely action may be left without medical coverage for auto accident injuries.”
PIP medical coverage pays for medical bills and some other expenses when a covered person is injured in an auto accident. QHC ensures that medical care for auto accident injuries will be covered if the injured person has opted out or been excluded from PIP medical coverage. Having QHC means having either Medicare Parts A and B, a Medicare Advantage Plan, or a health insurance policy that does not limit or exclude auto accident injuries and has a deductible of $6,000 or less for policies beginning or renewing through June 30, 2023; and $6,579 for policies beginning or renewing starting July 1, 2023. The deductible is updated annually under the law and is subject to change.
A person who has opted out of or been excluded from PIP medical coverage and has a change in their health insurance, such as losing their insurance or selecting a different plan, must take timely action to get replacement coverage. 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 liable for their own medical bills 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.
Consumers with questions about auto insurance, including QHC, 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.
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.