Insurance
— Medical-Payments Coverage
Automobile accidents often result in one or more persons being injured in some way. It is important to be covered properly if this occurs. This coverage pays medical and funeral bills resulting from accidents, including those in which the other person is a pedestrian or bicyclist, and covers you, your family members and passengers in your car, regardless of who caused the accident.

— Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
An insurance company must offer you $2,500 in PIP, but you can buy more. If you don’t want PIP, you must reject it in writing. PIP pays for the same things as medical-payments coverage, plus 80 percent of lost income and the cost of hiring a caregiver for an injured person. It covers you, your family members and passengers in your car, regardless of who caused the accident. An insurance company must offer you $2,500 in PIP, but you can buy more. If you don’t want PIP, you must reject it in writing.

— Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage
Insurers must offer UM/UIM coverage. If you decline coverage, you must do so in writing. UM/UIM pays your expenses from an accident caused by an uninsured motorist or a motorist who did not have enough insurance to cover your bills, up to your policy’s dollar limits. It also pays for accidents caused by a hit-and-run driver if you promptly reported the accident to police and covers You, your family members, passengers in your car, and others driving your car with your permission. Following are the two kinds of UM/UIM coverage you can get:
  • Bodily injury UM/UIM pays without deductibles for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement and permanent or partial disability.
  • Property damage UM/UIM pays for auto repairs, a rental car and damage to items in your car. There is an automatic $250 deductible, which means you must pay the first $250 of the repairs yourself.

— Collision Coverage
Damages to cars can be extensive and costly when involved in an accident. Collision coverage pays for the cost of repairing or replacing your car after an accident. Payment is limited to your car’s actual cash value, minus your deductible. Actual cash value is the market value of a car like yours without damages. It will cover you, your family members, passengers in your car and others driving your car with your permission.

— Comprehensive Coverage
Sometimes there is physical damage done to your car caused by factors other than collision. If you still owe money on your car, your lender will require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage. It pays the cost of replacing or repairing your car if it is stolen or damaged by fire, vandalism, hail or a cause other than a collision. Comprehensive coverage also pays for a rental car or other temporary transportation if your car is stolen. Your policy won’t pay for an auto theft unless you report it to police. Payment is limited to your car’s actual cash value, minus your deductible.

— Towing and Labor Coverage
If your car needs to be towed or repaired at a remote location, the service can be costly so this is good coverage to have. It pays for the towing charges when your car can’t be driven. It also pays labor charges, such as changing a tire at the location where your car became immobile.

— Rental Reimbursement Coverage
If you need to rent a car while yours is being repaired, having this coverage can offset the expense because it pays a set daily amount for a rental car if your car is stolen or is being repaired because of damage covered by your policy.

HEALTH INSURANCE
So, how do you learn about your health care options and find a family doctor? Of course, your employer should be your first stop. Your company’s human resources office can usually provide you with literature about hospitals and doctors that will accept the company’s insurance. Here are a few resources in the Denver area:
  • DoctorFinder by the American Medical Association (AMA) provides basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States, which includes more than 814,000 doctors. AMA member physicians are offered an expanded listing that contains additional information, such as office hours, accepted insurance providers, education history and other helpful information. Visit www.ama-assn.org/aps/amahg.htm.
  • Colorado Medical Society (CMS) is a nonprofit organization whose membership includes the majority of practicing physicians in the state. A physician locater search provides information on CMS members only at www.cms.org.
  • Colorado State Board of Medical Examiners can help you find public information about a medical doctor, physician assistant, acupuncturist or surgical assistant licensed by the state of Colorado. Information available for consumers includes person’s name, license number, licensure status, disciplinary status, honors and awards and malpractice history. Visit www.dora.state.co.us/medical/.
  • American Board of Medical Specialties. When searching for a physician, make sure the doctor is board certified. All U.S. board-certified physicians are listed with the American Board of Medical Specialties. Visit www.abms.org or call (866) 272-2267.
  • Also refer to the Health & Wellness chapter of this guide for other Physician Referral Services.
  • Family, friends and coworkers also are a good resource for finding a physician. Ask what people like best and least about their doctors.

HEALTH PLAN BASICS
Today in the United States, it is essential for everyone to have health insurance and pay into the system. Uninsured people seeking free services ultimately put a bigger strain on the resources of the government. If everyone pays in, even a minimum amount, more funds become available for those who truly need them. Many people receive health-care coverage as a condition of their membership in a group, such as a place of employment, professional association or other umbrella organization that offers coverage. Others not associated with such groups must buy individual health coverage directly from an agent or insurer. Health-care costs are expensive, and an insurance plan will pay for most and sometimes all of the treatment costs for your illnesses and injuries.

   
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