Yes. If you're transported by ambulance they will check it to see which hospital to take you. We're obviously referring to your medical insurance not dental or vision if they're separate (like mine).
What should a man have in his wallet? - Page 6
I've never heard of anyone that this actually happened to (and I have known of enough cyclists who get into accidents in weird places)...reeks of urban legend.
I know that my plan does not make an in-network/out-of-network distinction for emergency visits (that are actual emergencies)...and even with really bad HMOs, it is often the only time you can still get service basically anywhere.
re: health insurance card on ones person
mine says 'take me to the closest freakin' hospital as fast as possible' :D
if I'm in an accident or injured/ill, and require ambulance transport, paying for it will be the least of my concerns
the financials will sort themselves out, they can't deny you aid...
can't hospitals run your name through insurance databases and get your coverage?
There is not necessarily a need to have your insurance card. It is usually presented as a courtesy to your healthcare provider, there are several ways to get your insurance information without a card. Additionally many states have mandatory transport laws which require transport to the closest facility in emergency situations. In instances that are not life threatening, and you are conscious, the common practice is to consult the patient on destination. Finally, treatment in emergent circumstances is ruled in part by EMTALA, more information on that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act