Anyone who has been through the ordeal of being injured in an auto accident is probably familiar with Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits. In New Jersey, your own insurance company is likely responsible for your medical bills, regardless of who caused the accident. What many victims may not realize is that their auto insurance may also cover the costs of medical devices, medications and even lost income.
During the course of recovery, it is not uncommon for a physician to recommend the use of some sort of support device. This often includes support braces, crutches, slings, walkers, wheelchairs or commodes. The insurance industry generally refers to these items as “durable medical equipment.” So long as the device is prescribed by a treating physician, medically necessary and required as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, the insurance company may be on the hook for paying for it.
PIP also covers many pharmacy items. This means not only prescriptions, but also can include over-the-counter items like creams, antiseptics and analgesics. Since most pharmacies retain health insurance information on file, you have to make sure to let the pharmacist know that the items need to be submitted through PIP. This requires providing the carrier info, claim number and adjuster’s contact information. For general pharmacy items, make sure to get a separate receipt for those items and submit promptly to the insurance carrier for payment.
Many auto policies in New Jersey also carry a type of coverage known as “income continuation benefits.” It’s a capped weekly benefit that usually has a limited duration (i.e. $500 per week for up to 52 weeks). So long as the correct medical documentation is submitted, a claim can be made for these benefits regardless of fault.