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What Is Medical Payments Coverage?

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Maria Neira
December 14, 2020

Medical payments coverage, also referred to as MedPay, covers you and your passengers in the event of a car accident regardless of who is at fault.

This type of auto insurance coverage provides protection if you are injured while riding in someone else’s car or you’re a pedestrian involved in an accident.

MedPay is coverage that was designed to help assist where there are gaps, limits, or deductibles in your health insurance.   

What does medical payments insurance pay for?

If you or your passenger is injured in a car accident, medical payments coverage can help pay for the following expenses:

  • Health insurance co-pays and deductibles
  • Hospital and doctor visits
  • Ambulance fees
  • Prosthetics
  • Surgery expenses
  • X-rays
  • Nursing services
  • Other medical bills and expenses

Medical payments coverage vs. bodily injury liability

Medical payments coverage and bodily injury liability both offer financial protection in the event of an accident. However, while liability coverage is required by law in most states, MedPay coverage is optional. 

Bodily injury liability coverage offers protection if you are at-fault in an accident, and it will cover the medical expenses for others involved such as a pedestrian or another driver. It’s important to note that bodily injury liability doesn’t not cover yourself or your passengers. 

Medical payments coverage, on the other hand, offers coverage for anyone involved in an accident regardless of who is at fault - including you and your passengers. If you cause an accident and don’t have MedPay coverage, you will be responsible to pay any medical expenses for you or your passengers.

Do I need medical payments coverage if I have personal injury protection?

Medical payments coverage is strictly intended to cover medical bills. In comparison, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage can be used as reimbursement for expenses beyond just medical.

For instance, PIP can be used for expenses resulting from an accident including lost wage reimbursement, childcare costs, and funeral costs. Since there is some overlap in coverage between medical payments coverage and personal injury protection, some drivers pick one or the other instead of purchasing both coverages.

Should I get medical payments coverage?

Medical payments coverage is often worth purchasing because it costs relatively little considering that it offers significant financial protection. Still, there are a few things you will want to evaluate when considering whether or not to add medical payments coverage to your auto insurance policy.

Review your current health insurance coverage. Will buying medical payments coverage overlap with your current health insurance coverage? Take a look at your medical and auto coverages to understand what is and isn't covered should you be in a car accident. You'll want to review coverage limits, restrictions, and exceptions to have a clear idea of what expenses you would be responsible for paying. 

Determine how much medical payments coverage will cost. Coverage rates vary by state and will also be impacted by your age, gender, marital status, driving record, and claims history. Ask your agent for an estimate of how adding this coverage will impact your premium.

Evaluate your current auto insurance coverage. Medical payments coverage can overlap with other coverages you may have such as personal injury protection. Review your current auto insurance policy so that you aren’t paying for double coverage.

Shopping for car insurance and discussing your needs with an agent will help you get the coverage you need within your budget.

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