Medical Payments Coverage – Why Is This Coverage Useful?
By definition, medical payments coverage (MedPay) helps you pay for damages and expenses caused by a car accident. Ergo, it is like an extension to your car insurance policy.
To understand the entire concept of medical payment coverage and its importance in relation to drivers, we’ll be looking into the following questions:
- What do medical payments cover?
- Is medical payments coverage mandatory in all states?
- What is the difference between MedPay, PIP, and bodily injury liability?
- Should I consider purchasing medical payments coverage?
Stick around if you want to get the full answer to these and many more questions!
Highlight Box: Medical payments coverage helps you cover expenses caused to the people in your car.
What Does Medical Payments Cover?
Medical payments coverage, or Med Pay for short, help you pay for expenses for you or your passengers that occurred during a car accident – but get this – regardless of whose fault it was.
However, this applies just to the people that were in your vehicle at the time of the accident.
Now, depending on the insurance policy you purchase, MedPay can help cover the following medical bills:
- Health insurance deductibles and co-payments
- Doctor visits
- X rays
- Ambulance fees
- Funeral expenses
- Chiropractic fees
- Nursing services
- Dental procedures
- Emergency medical technician fees
Who Pays For These Medical Expenses?
In case you find yourself in a car accident with your family members or friends, where you are at fault, and there happens to be injured parties – who is going to pay for the injuries caused?
You health insurance policy will compensate part of the coverage amount, and your medical payments insurance is going to fill in the gaps and pay for the injured passengers’ expenses.
We’ve mentioned them above, so feel free to glance over them once again.
Also, your MedPay protection is valid even if you’re driving your friend’s car and you get hit, or you hit someone else’s car.
You’ll still be able to rely on covering the needed medical and funeral expenses (hopefully not the latter ones).
How To Use Your MedPay Auto Insurance?
Let’s get right into the process of making use of your medical payments coverage.
First, your attorney should notify your health insurer or auto insurance company where you purchased the insurance products, that you or your passengers have suffered an injury or injuries in a car accident.
Subsequently, the casualty insurance company is going to open a claim where you will have to submit the medical bills that need to be reimbursed.
Your insurance company needs to verify that you were actually injured in a car accident, and this is done either through a written statement or a brief report from the doctor.
The important thing to remember here is to be aware of the cases where bodily injury liability claims are being pursued against the responsible individual’s auto insurance company.
We’ll explain the difference between the two coverages shortly.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
For instance, in Virginia, you have to make the medical payments claim within a specific period of time. If you miss the deadline, you could lose your right to your coverage.
Also, the benefits of medical payments coverage can only be used if the insurance company defines the expenses as “necessary ad/or reasonable.”
MedPay Vs. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
The difference between what bodily injury liability and MedPay covers is:
Unlike MedPay, the bodily injury liability portion covers any bodily injury to the person that’s been injured in a car accident where you were at fault.
This coverage pays for:
- Funeral costs: If either the driver or passenger dies in the accident, your bodily insurance coverage will pay for the funeral.
- Lost wages: If the injured party is not able to go to work due to their injuries, this helps pay for wage reimbursement, i.e. workers’ compensation.
- Legal fees: If the injured party decided to sue you for the auto accident, this can help pay attorney’s fees.
- Medical bills: They can include emergency medical services, rehabilitative care, hospital visits, etc.
- Pain and suffering: Besides suing you, this coverage can help you pay for the pain and suffering caused to the injured party.
How Does PIP Differ From MedPay?
Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is simply an add-on to your auto insurance policy, and it helps pay for health coverage sustained in an accident. To be more precise, personal injury protection helps you pay for your medical bills, no matter who’s at fault.
PIP is mandatory in states that require no fault insurance. No fault states include:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
For someone who is contemplating buying this insurance coverage should bear in mind that PIP and MedPay cover many of the same injuries, but PIP covers a wider range of injuries. Ultimately, PIP limits are higher than MedPay, which could leave you paying for medical treatments out of your pocket.
What Are MedPay Coverage Limits?
When you’re deciding on your medical payments coverage limits, you should first reflect on your existing health insurance coverage because the two can easily overlap.
Contrary to auto liability coverage, the MedPay coverage limit applies to the financial protection available to each injured party.
For instance, if you have two injured passengers in your car, and your MedPay limit is $2,000 – each of them can collect the $2,000 for coverage.
Medical payments insurance has a limit, which translates into the maximum amount your insurer is going to pay for a covered loss.
Do I Need MedPay If I Have Health Insurance?
If you live in Maine or Pennsylvania, then the state law requires you to have this car insurance coverage.
Also, New Hampshire residents are required to purchase MedPay alongside their primary coverage.
If you’re not completely settled on buying this coverage, bear in mind that MedPay and your health insurance policy aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, as we’ve already highlighted.
Know that your health insurance policy may not be able to cover certain medical costs. Medical payment coverage can also help you pay for your health insurance deductible or co pays.
Medical payments coverage helps you pay medical expenses for you and your passengers that have suffered an injury in an auto accident, regardless of who’s fault it was.
We’ve had the chance to look at some specific expenses this coverage helps pay off, and how it differs from bodily injury liability and PIP coverage.
It’s common for MedPay coverage to overlap with your existing health insurance policy, but it’s still useful to purchase it because it can help you pay for medical care that your health insurance doesn’t cover.
And last but not least, medical payments coverage is only required if you live in a “no fault state”, and that would be Maine, Pennsylvania, or New Hampshire.
There’s one more thing we’d like to add, and that is to invite you.
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