What Is New Jersey PIP Patient Responsibility and Why Do I Owe Money?

The payment of your
medical bills after an accident can be complicated, especially if you live in a
no-fault state like New Jersey. Even if you were not at fault for the accident,
your own auto insurance policy is required cover your medical bills through a
portion of the policy known as personal injury protection, or PIP. As a
patient, you will be responsible for paying certain deductibles and copays
based on whatever coverage options you chose when setting up your policy.

Personal Injury Protection

When you set up your
New Jersey auto insurance policy, you had to select an amount of PIP coverage
to be available to you in the event of an accident. The default amount of PIP
coverage for NJ drivers is $250,000, but drivers have the option to lower that
coverage amount and raise deductibles to save money on their premiums. You also
had to choose whether PIP would be your primary insurance in case of an
accident, or if you wanted to go through your health insurance for coverage
first.

Car accidents can
lead to extensive injuries, and the medical bills for treating such injuries
can be expensive. For that reason, we recommend purchasing more PIP coverage
rather than less. We recommend using PIP as your primary coverage and using any
health insurance policy you may have as a secondary insurance that can pick up
the costs of copays and deductibles. If you opt to go through health insurance
first, you will never be able to access the PIP coverage you are paying for,
but if you choose PIP as primary coverage, you can then use health insurance if
you exhaust your PIP benefits.

Patient Responsibility

The only responsibility
you have as a PIP patient is to pay deductibles and copayments as agreed upon
when you set up your policy. The deductible is the amount of money you must pay
for medical care out-of-pocket before your PIP coverage takes over. You only
have to pay the deductible once in an accident, at the beginning of getting
medical care. PIP covers 80 percent of your medical costs up to the coverage
limit you selected. The remaining 20 percent is your copay, or the amount of
money you are responsible for paying out-of-pocket for each medical expense –
each doctor appointment, test, procedure, or therapy session.

 If you would like more information, please contact us today.  

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Richard P. Console, Jr.

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