The typical first question people ask when they hear about Medical Payments coverage for car insurance is, “Why would I need Med Pay if I have health insurance?” There are many reasons for adding Medical Payments coverage, also called Med Pay, to your car insurance policy. Med Pay protects you if you or the passengers in your car are injured in an automobile accident, regardless of whether the accident was your fault.
Med Pay is a basic level of inexpensive coverage that pays for reasonable and necessary medical or funeral expenses of the driver and passengers of a vehicle involved in a car accident, irrespective of who is at fault, up to the limit purchased. The limits are capped and typically range from $1,000 to $10,000.
More specifically, Med Pay generally covers expenses for medical, surgical, dental and chiropractic treatment. It also covers hospitalization, ambulance services, X-rays, nursing services and prosthetic devices. So for those who drive a car and do not have health insurance, Med Pay could be a smart type of coverage to own.
Is Med Pay Like Personal Injury Protection Coverage?
Some states have enacted “no-fault” automobile liability laws in an effort to reduce the cost of car insurance, among other reasons. If your state is a “no-fault” state you are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP will pay for medical coverage similarly to Med Pay. They are like cousins but not identical. If you don’t live in a no-fault state, Med Pay is your only option. Ask your independent agent if you live in a no-fault state.
Med Pay Versus Health Insurance
Some suggest if you have health insurance and disability income insurance or belong to an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), you don’t need Med Pay. Consider several points before you decide.
- Medical Payments coverage is generally an inexpensive option and does not limit you to certain doctors or treatments.
- When you file a Med Pay claim, your auto premium will likely not be affected because the coverage is “no-fault” and therefore you are not being charged with a claim. Depending on your health insurance plan, that premium could increase if you file a claim on it.
- Medical Payments coverage is more “valuable” in situations where you’re driving with someone who is not family, especially if they don’t have health insurance.
- Med Pay can also help off-set the deductible that comes along with PIP.
Additional Med Pay Considerations
Keep in mind that Med Pay only covers injuries resulting from a car accident, so it is not intended as a replacement for more comprehensive health insurance protection.
If you have Medical Payments coverage, there are a couple steps to follow when filing a claim. You must pay for your treatment upfront and submit a receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement. Since Medical Payments coverage is limited, use it for things not covered by your health insurance, such as chiropractic and out-of-pocket expenses.
If you live in a state without no-fault insurance and have Medical Payments coverage on your car insurance policy, be sure to use it first to pay for medical expenses, because some health insurers might deny coverage unless you first exhaust your Med Pay benefits.
Loiselle Insurance Can Help
As your independent insurance agent, we work to find you the best car coverage at the most competitive rates. Contact us when you are purchasing your auto insurance and we will discuss Med Pay and other important types of coverage in the same efficient manner that we handle all your insurance needs.