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Local Psychologist Warns Against Coordinated Coverage

When you sit down to review your auto insurance policy this year, you may be tempted to go for coordinated coverage to save a few dollars. But local psychologist, James Zender, warns that your short-term savings might cost you in the long run.

The Michigan no-fault law allows insurance providers to offer discounts to customers who choose coordinated coverage. But consumers need to understand the long-term cost for their short-term savings.

Uncoordinated Policy Rules

Michigan no-fault law makes your auto insurance company the first place your medical providers turn for any medical expenses related to the use of a motor vehicle. Even though you have health insurance, your doctors will bill the auto insurance company for 100% of your medical expenses. You won’t be required to pay any copays, deductibles, or co-insurance costs.

Coordinated Coverage Changes the Rules

If you choose a coordinated coverage policy, that means you are giving the auto insurance company permission to take second priority to your health insurance. Under a coordinated coverage plan, your medical providers will bill your health insurance provider first. Then your car insurance policy fills in, covering whatever portions you would otherwise pay.

Local Psychologist Warns Against Coordinated Coverage

James Zender, a Mount Clemens clinical and forensic psychologist, recently wrote a guest editorial for The Detroit News. He helps readers understand the long-term cost of choosing a coordinated coverage policy. Here are some of the risks:

  • Many injured motorists see a delay in payment as auto and health insurance companies point fingers, forcing a court to decide who pays for what expenses. While medical providers wait for payment, your credit score can suffer. Zender explains:

“I know of one case where an individual was covered by five different insurance companies, and none of them paid until after lengthy litigation.”

  • You are limited to in-network doctors. Your health insurance limits on treating physicians apply. That could cut you off from the state’s top medical experts, whose bills would be covered under an uncoordinated policy.
  • Your doctor could refuse your coordinated coverage. Coordinated plans create twice the work for medical billers, and can limit how much your doctors will be paid.
  • You are dipping into your lifetime maximum benefit. Most health insurance policies have a maximum lifetime payout. A serious auto accident can cost hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of dollars. That could burn through your policy. But an uncoordinated policy covers all your expenses without tapping into that health insurance reserve.

An uncoordinated auto insurance policy may reduce your annual premium, but it could cost you in the long run. A catastrophic auto accident is already traumatic. Think twice before opting in to an even more difficult experience by choosing a coordinated coverage option.

David Christensen is an auto accident attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He helps accident victims get their medical expenses covered. If you know someone who has been in a serious auto accident, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.