What is Medical Payments Insurance?
Auto Medical Payments Coverage is a type of car insurance that pays for expenses relating to injuries resulting from a covered event, such as a car crash. Unlike your liability for bodily injury or death, Medical Payments Insurance covers you – and your passengers – regardless of who is at fault in the car accident.
Is This Coverage Required?
Not all states require additional medical payment coverage on top of liability. Only Maine requires Medical Payments. New Hampshire does not require its drivers to purchase auto insurance, but if they do purchase it, the minimum package must include MedPay. Others require Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No Fault Insurance. Some do not require additional medical payment policies at all or do not offer it. In many places, it is considered optional coverage. Your Freeway agent has the information you need and can help you sift through your options to find the best plan for you.
What Does It Cover?
It provides what is considered gap protection in the event of injuries or death. Most MedPay benefits will cover you even when you are not in your vehicle, for example, if a vehicle hits you while walking or biking. It offers immediate money after an incident to help you pay for things like medical bills and funerals and you can even use your it to help pay for the deductibles and copays for your regular healthcare. It can be considered a supplement to your health policy – check with your health provider to find out which would be considered primary.
This medical payment coverage helps pay for:
- Visits to the doctor
- All treatments, surgeries and procedures associated with the crash
- Health insurance deductibles and co-pays
- Long-term hospitalization or nursing services
- First responder (EMT), ambulance service and emergency room costs
- Replacement or prosthetic limbs
- Oral and dental procedures
- Funeral costs
- Injuries for pedestrians or bicyclists hit by a vehicle
The benefits also may be used by the passengers and family members in your vehicle at the time of the crash.
Since the financial help provided by your liability car insurance can take some time to be disbursed, it is valuable since it kicks in immediately – meaning you don’t have to wait while companies battle out who is at fault for the car accident. It means some of your bills won’t have to come out of your pocket while you wait to find out if you’ll be covered by your injury liability insurance.
A final note: This will help you pay for your injuries if you cause an accident while driving under the influence. Your car policy most likely will not.
How Much Does Medical Payment Insurance Cost?
For the peace of mind it provides, it’s actually pretty cheap. It averages somewhere between $5 and $20 per month – depending on the amount of protection you purchase and other factors insurer takes into account, such as your overall driving record. It’s another good reason why shopping around and comparing car insurance companies is a good idea.
What is the Difference Between MedPay and Personal Injury Protection?
Typically part of the state-required minimum car insurance in no-fault states, PIP coverage is similar to Auto Insurance Med Payments in that both are designed to cover medical bills after a car wreck, regardless of who is determined to be at fault. They both kick in immediately so those who need it don’t have to wait while insurers and possibly courts sort out who is to blame for the wreck and who is responsible for the bills. PIP coverage has the advantage of covering more, like child care expenses and lost wages. However, PIP has a deductible, which med pay does not. Many people feel that a combination of the two offers the greatest protection.
It may seem by looking at this table that PIP coverage is better. Keep in mind, though, that it has a deductible you must pay, while med pay does not.
Here is a table to help compare the differences between these two coverages.
How Does Auto Insurance Medical Payments Work?
If you have this policy, make sure you get some information from your insurer on exactly how to file a claim, since it is handled differently from carrier to carrier. In some cases, you’ll get a direct payout after you submit a bill. In other cases, this type of coverage is added to your existing health plan and they pay the bills. Across carriers, they may ask for your health insurance policy to pay first and this next or vice versa.
In most situations, you’ll either pay your medical expenses upfront and receive reimbursement or your health plan will pay the bills. In the second case, you can use it to help pay your regular health deductible or copay.
At any rate, if you are injured in an crash that is not your fault, you’ll receive help from this protection before the other driver’s bodily/death liability is approved by their insurer.
What is the Difference Between Bodily Liability, PIP and MedPay?
Bodily injury liability insurance helps pay for the medical expenses and other associated costs of other drivers and their passengers when you are the at-fault driver in a wreck. In a no-fault state, typically the extra protection required is used by each driver to pay the associated medical expenses for themselves and their passengers, regardless of who caused the crash. But liability payouts can get caught up in lawsuits after a wreck and insurers are reluctant to pay out until blame has been established. The extra policy provided starts to pay immediately.
In every state that requires drivers to carry insurance, bodily injury liability is part of that requirement, except Florida. Florida only requires property damage liability and PIP. And, of course, New Hampshire does not require any.
What Are the Policy Limits of MedPay?
As with most types of protection, in most states you can decide how much of this you want to purchase. Experts say to examine your current health plan for information specific to auto accidents. With today’s high costs for medically associated services, having some extra may be a good idea. Keep in mind there are no deductibles or co-pays.
In the states that require this medical payment coverage, the limits are:
- Pennsylvania* – $5,000
- Maine – $2,000
- New Hampshire** – $1,000
*Pennsylvania requires drivers to carry $5,000 worth of medical benefits. It does not specify what type of medical benefits.
**New Hampshire does not require drivers to carry insurance. However, if you choose to have it, you must include $1,000 of medical.
Get Your Medical Payments Insurance Online Today
Depending on where you live, MedPay may be part of your state-required liability. Other states offer it as an option that must be declined in writing. However, it’s a good option to consider since it is inexpensive and offers peace of mind in the event of a car wreck.
Your Freeway agent can help you determine what’s right for you. We’ll compare car plan quotes so you can choose the policy that best meets your needs and budget. Contact us today for a quick, fast online insurance quote or by calling us at 800-777-5620 or by visiting us at one of our local offices.