Health insurance basics

What is Med Pay Coverage on a Car Insurance Policy?

Car insurance protects your car, not the people inside of it.  Medical Payments Coverage, also known as Med Pay Coverage, pays for immediate and necessary medical services following a car accident that results in injury.  It pays medical expenses for you and any passengers in your vehicle who are injured during an accident or auto-related injury.  It protects you regardless of who caused the accident.

Med Pay Coverage also follows the policyholder. In other words, if you’re walking, riding in a friend’s vehicle, or using public transportation, your medical payments coverage remains active.


What Does Med Pay Coverage Cover?

Consider the following list:

  1. Injuries sustained by your passengers;
  2. EMT and ambulance fees;
  3. Hospital visits and stays, doctor visits;
  4. Surgery and x-rays;
  5. Professional nursing services and care;
  6. Prostheses;
  7. Dental procedures needed as a result of an accident;
  8. Injuries sustained as a pedestrian or riding a bicycle if a vehicle hits you; and
  9. Funerals.

There are situations where medical payments coverage will not apply. For example, while medical payments insurance covers personal automobiles, it cannot be applied to trailers or other equipment attached to them.


When Should You Pay for Med Pay?

Med Pay coverage is an optional insurance coverage that is offered as a part of your auto insurance policy.  You should consider the following before you purchase medical payments coverage:

  1. Your current health insurance;
  2. Your personal injury protection coverage (if you have any); and
  3. The cost of coverage.

If your health insurance provides excellent coverage for injuries you suffer in a car accident, you may have very little need for Med Pay Coverage.  However, if you find your health insurance does not cover these types of injuries, it can be a very good idea to buy Med Pay Coverage.


The Cost of Coverage

When it comes to car insurance, several factors go into determining your premium rates, including your:

  1. Driving record;
  2. Claims history;
  3. Age;
  4. Sex; and
  5. Marital status.

With all factors considered, medical payments coverage is generally one of the least expensive types of car insurance coverage.


Med Pay Coverage as Secondary Insurance

You may also have the ability to use Med Pay Coverage as a secondary insurance to your health insurance. This means that if you are hurt in an accident, your health insurance will cover you up to its limits. Once your health insurance limits are met, your Med Pay Coverage will cover you up to the limits written in your car insurance policy.


Med Pay vs. PIP

You also need to understand the difference between Med Pay and Personal Injury Protection when you are selecting your auto insurance coverage.   These are the two main types of medical coverage you can purchase as part of your car insurance policy.

Medical Payments (Med Pay) will cover the medical payments of you and your passengers in your vehicle if they are injured in a crash.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) includes medical payments coverage but also will cover other documented losses such as your lost wages.  PIP offers insurance coverage for:

  1. Wages lost from work;
  2. Other reasonable non-medical or work-related losses; and
  3. A death benefit.


The Bottom Line: Should You Buy Medical Payments Insurance?

For most people, the answer is simple: Include Med Pay coverage in your insurance policy.

If you don’t have health insurance coverage for yourself or your family, Med Pay is an affordable way to make sure medical bills will get paid after a car accident. Plus, Med Pay coverage extends to passengers who are not part of your household – and who may or may not have health insurance themselves.

Even if you do have a health insurance plan, Med Pay can be beneficial.


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