What You Need to Know About Motor Vehicle Accident Massage and Your Auto Insurance
In Oregon, an individuals’ auto insurance policy is legally obligated to cover all vehicle occupants’ medical treatments after an accident. This is referred to as a Personal Injury Protection plan, PIP, and Oregon auto insurance policies will cover up to $15,000 of medical expenses and wage loss for up to one year following an accident. Insurance companies will try to get you to close the claim as soon as possible, but as soon as you do that you cannot have your auto insurance company billed for any medical or wage loss expenses related to your accident. Oregon has a statute of limitations of two years - meaning that you have two years after the date of an accident to submit a claim.
As an Oregon resident, you are required to have automobile insurance. You are required to have bodily injury and property damage liability for at least $25,000 per person, $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others, and $20,000 per crash for damage to the property of others. You must have a PIP plan, as previously discussed, that covers $15,000 of reasonable and necessary medical, dental, and any other expenses that occur as a result of a car accident, for up to one year. You also must have an uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash for bodily injury.
Oregon is considered a hybrid state, where both “fault” and “no fault” systems are used to determine whose car insurance will pay for the damages. Usually, Oregon will follow the “fault” system with regards to auto accidents, meaning that the person’s insurance who was found to be legally responsible for the cause of the accident will have to pay for damages up to what their insurance policy covers. After that, the driver will be held liable for the remainder of the balance owed.
There are two types of Personal Injury Protection payments – first and third party. First party means that the individuals’ auto insurance pays for the expenses; third party means that the other driver’s auto insurance policy pays for it. With first party PIP, I bill your auto insurance policy directly. Most of the cases that I have worked with are first party, even if my patient wasn’t the one at fault. After I submit the claims to your insurance company, they will then mitigate expenses with the at-fault party’s auto insurance to reclaim any financial loss. With third party payments, the patient can either allow me to bill their insurance directly, or they can do a cash payment, in which I will then provide them with SOAP Notes – the treatment notes I take about the session – as well as pain evaluation assessments and billing forms. After that, the patient can submit them to the insurance company at the time of settlement.
In either case, massage therapy must be medically necessary and reasonable. For this reason, I do require a doctor’s prescription for massage therapy services which should include the length of each session, the quantity of sessions, doctor’s diagnoses such as strained/sprained cervical vertebrae, as well as the CPT (Current Procedural Technology) codes for billing. There will be a different intake form for motor vehicle accident patients to fill out as opposed to traditional massage patients. This is so that we can chart your progress and see where and how well you’re improving, or whether further treatment is needed.
I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about motor vehicle accident massage. Call me today at (970) 420-8422, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read my other article on massage for motor vehicle accidents – Why I Love Working With Motor Vehicle Accident Patients – and stay tuned for more over the coming weeks!