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Accessing Your Motor Vehicle Insurance for Massage Therapy

By Jak Fessenden, BSN, LMT
In Oregon, it is permissible to use your motor vehicle insurance to pay for medical care when you are injured in an MVA, motor vehicle accident. (The State of Oregon does not recognize the term “accident” when you crash your vehicle. The DMV handbook calls it a collision).

The health care you receive after your MVA because you became injured is billable directly to your motor vehicle insurance carrier. The care you receive for your injuries can be from an emergency room visit, your family medical doctor or primary care provider, a chiropractic doctor, physical therapist and massage therapist.

In most cases, you can self refer (meaning you do not need a physician referral) to go to the emergency room and your family doctor or primary care provider. You do need to let these facilities and professionals know that your visit is due to being involved in an MVA and provide your motor vehicle insurance information. Usually, your HMO and major medical health care insurance will not cover these health care services for an MVA unless you are without motor vehicle insurance (which is in violation of Oregon State Law if the vehicle you were driving was not insured) or the coverage has been exhausted.

At best, determining what MVA insurance coverage a person has is daunting. Reading through a policy is time consuming and gives most people a headache. It is easier to call your insurance carrier to get familiar with the type of and how much coverage you have, so you are prepared, in case you need it. I recommend doing both. I did and I learned a few things too…

Motor vehicle insurances coverages have lots of categories (not unlike the grading of hurricanes…just kidding). Lets review some of them that pertain to getting health care when you become injured in an MVA:

Part A – Liability (bodily injury and property damage for each person and each “accident”) covers the people you injure when you are at fault. In Oregon, the standard minimum value of this coverage is $25,000. You do, of course have the option to increase this value just so that you will not be sued should the standard minimum not be enough to cover your liability costs. Scary, isn’t it? Ponder for a second the high costs of medical care, the amount of time it takes to recover from and rehab. injuries and ask yourself: Do I have enough liability insurance?

Part B – Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This covers YOU, your relatives and residents in your household and those persons in your vehicle that were injured in the accident with you. This is where your medical attention costs will be paid from. In Oregon, the standard minimum is $15,000. (my opinion: not nearly enough) Yes, you do have options to boost this amount as well. Most of the time there is a deductible that needs to be met. Don’t worry, the health care provider will notify you of the amount the insurance did not pay or will let you know at the time of service what amount you are required to pay up front.

Part C – Uninsured Motorist (bodily injury and property damage for each person and each “accident’) covers YOU, if the other driver is at fault and does not have insurance. (ironic isn’t it?) This part usually matches the value of Part A, no exceptions, can’t get around it…meaning, you can not have more value here in Part C and less in Part A. (I asked!) My primary concern here is 'if the other guy is not insured, how much do I need to take care of my injuries, loss of wages and expenses while I am recovering?' A word of wisdom to those that find themselves in this situation: find a Lawyer.

Part D – Physical Damage Coverage is for comprehensive loss, collision loss and rental reimbursement & towing and labor. This has nothing to do with your health care services. This part covers what needs to be done with your crashed vehicle.

Now that you are fully informed about what type of and how much coverage you have, here are the steps you need to take to have your massage therapy for MVA injuries paid: At the time of your initial medical care visit for your injuries, you will of course have to notify your motor vehicle insurance carrier of what has happened. It is at this time that they should be opening up a PIP claim for you…that’s Part B above. They will be sending you paperwork for the PIP claim or they may take all information over the phone for you.

1. From the Emergency room MD, Family MD or primary care provider and Chiropractic Dr. ask for a massage therapy referral. They will be happy to provide this for you. They know you are injured and in pain!

2. Contact/call me at 503.288.8586. My name is Jak. I am a licensed massage therapist in the State of Oregon. I specialize in MVA injuries and can help you get well. Studies have confirmed that the sooner you receive focused bodywork healthcare, the quicker and better your injuries heal.

Bring your massage therapy referral with you to your first session and also your motor vehicle insurance card or something that has the following vital motor vehicle insurance information on it. We will need:

*the name of the insurance carrier *the name of the insurance agent or adjuster that opened your PIP claim *the phone number of the insurance adjuster’s office *the policy number *the claim number

We will take care of all other required paperwork for billing purposes to your insurance company. No worries for you. We want you to focus on recovering from your injuries. How easy is that?

Contact jak@sacredgroundmassage.com and he’ll be happy to help you.