Over the last several years of writing my column on motor cycle accidents, insurance coverage issues, and the law, I have bitched and moaned on a number of occasions about insufficient liability coverage, and as a result, insufficient uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
Pennsylvania law only allows you to buy UM/UIM coverage equal to or lower than the amount of your limits of liability coverage (so if you bought $15,000/$30,000.00 in liability coverage, that is all you can purchase in UM/UIM coverage).
The only way you can have more UM/UIM coverage than liability is if you have more than one bike on the policy and purchase the stacking option, which is something I always recommend as a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer – even if you only have one bike.
Insurance companies MO
Insurance companies will not willingly cover medical costs from motor cycle accidents.
I have also complained in writing about the fact that many of my clients do not have health insurance, and unless they purchased some medical coverage on their motorcycle policy, have no way of paying medical bills if they are injured in a motor cycle accident.
Contrary to what many people believe, neither your automobile carrier, nor the other insurance carrier is necessarily accountable for paying your medical bills in motor cycle accidents. Even if they do eventually assume responsibility, they will only pay when the case settles, by which time you will most likely be in collections.
Until recently, there was nothing most people could do about this
However, with the recent launch of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the rollout of its Website, www.healthcare.gov, virtually anyone who does not qualify for public assistance can get reasonably priced health insurance coverage.
So-called “Obamacare,” may not be “platinum” coverage, but with the papers reporting 7-8 million new members, it will go a long way toward making sure you get treated in the hospital, and more importantly, that you get the continued medical care you need once you are released.
It is not always as easy as you might think to get the coverage you deserve. Most specialists and medical facilities want to know how they are getting paid before they will even schedule an appointment. Just so you understand, once you are released from the hospital, medical providers are not legally required to treat you in most situations.
Obamacare, has been especially helpful to bikers in PA and NJ
Currently, as a result of the ACA, the percentage of Americans without insurance has fallen to its lowest level in 6 years. Bikers in PA and NJ often do not make enough money to buy it from health insurance companies directly, but make too much to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.
The ACA includes government subsidies that help keep the cost down for those who make roughly between $25,000.00 and $70,000.00 a year. It also gives anyone injured in Pennsylvania or New Jersey motor cycle accidents peace of mind regarding how they are going to pay for all of their medical bills.
So please, if you do not have health insurance, go to your computer, visit healthcare.gov and get started! Remember, you can not be turned down due to pre-existing conditions, and additionally, the ACA will cover your children until they are 26 years old. It is a win-win situation – so do it now!