Medical Payments (“MedPay”) coverage on automobile insurance policies may be a lifesaver if you’re in an accident – regardless of who caused the accident.  I ask clients to bring in a copy of their automobile insurance policies and/or their declarations page (“Dec Sheet”) to see what kind of coverage they have available to them.  I keep my fingers crossed that they have med pay and hope that it is at least $5,000.   However, I find that most people do not know what medical payments coverage is, whether they have paid for it on their policy or if they even need it.

What is Med Pay? Medical payments coverage is a type of no-fault insurance that is optional when you purchase your car insurance policy.  It will pay up to your medical payments policy limits for medical bills incurred from an automobile accident, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.  This is a very valuable benefit often at a time when you need it most.

Who is Covered?  If you are a driver or passenger who was involved in the accident, you can make a claim against your own MedPay policy. Additionally, anyone who is riding in your car can make a claim against your automobile policy for medical payments. There are other circumstances where you may be able to make a claim for MedPay even if you were not in a covered vehicle, such as riding a bicycle or walking as a pedestrian.

What is covered?  Medical care and treatment incurred as a result of the accident are covered. MedPay can help you pay your medical bills as soon as they are incurred.  You can purchase Med Pay coverage in increments commonly ranging from $1,000 to $25,000.  Your incurred medical bills can be paid from your MedPay coverage up the limit you’ve purchased. Or, you may be reimbursed for medical bills previously paid by submitting the bills to your insurance company.

Should I Spend the Extra Money on Med Pay? Even if you have health insurance, I urge my clients to purchase Med Pay coverage for the highest limit they can afford.   I explain that it is possibly the most economical form of coverage to pay for medical bills.  Med Pay helps you pay your copays, go to specialists, meet deductibles, and potentially save your credit from adverse reporting for balance owning bills from the hospital, physical therapists and doctors often needed after an automobile collision.  It can take months or even years from some cases to get resolved.  Often times injured persons are unable to work after a serious accident and cannot afford the added costs of medical bills. The doctors and hospitals with which you’ve treated will not want to wait for your case to get settled in order to get paid. If you don’t have MedPay or health insurance to cover your medical bills, this can cause some significant stress worrying about the outstanding medical bills. Having this additional coverage for your or your passengers can help you go to the doctor you want to get the care you need.

Will My Insurance Rates Raise If I Make A Claim on my Medical Payments Coverage? The short answer is “no.” Under 20 CSR 500-2.600 – “Rate Increases”, “In no event shall an insurer request an increase in premium from any insured in connection with any claim arising out of any accident for which the insured was not at fault.”

How Do I Get Med Pay? Call your insurance agent and ask them to immediately put this coverage on your policy up to the amount you can afford.