Medical Payments Coverage: What Is MedPay? Do I Need It?

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If you, your family, or your passengers are injured in a car accident, you could rack up some pretty steep medical bills. Medical payments coverage, or MedPay, is a car insurance add-on that covers medical expenses related to car accidents for you and your passengers.
Not sure if medical payments coverage is right for you?
Car insurance broker app Jerry has compiled everything you may need to know about how MedPay works and whether or not its right for you.

What is medical payments coverage?

Medical payments coverage, more commonly known as MedPay, covers the medical costs for you and your passengers if you’re injured in a car accident. Even if you’re the at-fault driver, MedPay will pay out.
In addition to medical costs, MedPay will also pay funeral expenses if someone dies in an accident. And if you have MedPay coverage, it should also pay your medical bills if you or a family member are hit by a vehicle while walking or are injured while riding in another person’s vehicle.
MedPay fills in any coverage gaps in your normal health insurance and can even cover your deductible and copays.

What does medical payments coverage cover?

MedPay does more than just cover your medical bills and funeral expenses. It may also reimburse you for ambulance fees, dental care, chiropractic care, X-rays, prosthetics, professional nursing services, funeral expenses, deductibles, and co-pays. MedPay can function as co-insurance for other types of insurance as well, such as health insurance and personal injury protection.
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What does medical payments coverage not cover?

While MedPay covers most medical bills associated with a car accident, there are some things that medical payments coverage won’t cover. These include:
  • Wage reimbursement (if forced to miss work due to injuries)
  • Child care costs (if limited physically due to injuries)
  • Medical bills for injuries suffered by other drivers
  • Treatment of injuries or health problems unrelated to a car accident
In addition, there are some exclusions to MedPay coverage, including injuries that occur:
  • While driving a vehicle with less than four wheels
  • While using your vehicle as a public conveyance (Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies)
  • While you’re parked at your residence or other building and not driving
  • While driving a vehicle that you don’t own or use regularly
If you’re injured at work and your injury falls under worker’s compensation, MedPay will not cover it. Nor will it pay out for injuries sustained from an act of war or suffered while participating in an organized race.
MedPay also does not compensate you for any pain, suffering, or emotional distress you suffer due to an accident. For that, you’ll have to sue the other party in a court of law.

Medical payments coverage limits

Like most types of car insurance, there are financial limits to the amount of coverage you have under MedPay.
Maximums are usually around $10,000 or less, depending on the state where you have car insurance. MedPay generally works in conjunction with your health insurance or PIP, if you have either one, so it isn’t intended as a replacement for either.

How to choose the right amount of MedPay coverage

There’s no one-size-fits-all way to determine how much MedPay coverage you need. If you know that you would have trouble paying a deductible or co-pay associated with an accident, then you should consider maximizing your MedPay coverage.
If you have health insurance and are on firm financial footing, you should consider keeping your medical payments coverage relatively low or forego it altogether.

Where is medical payments coverage available?

The availability of MedPay depends on where you live in the U.S. It’s optional coverage in many states, but a few actually require you to have MedPay as a part of your car insurance policy.
MedPay is required in these states:
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire (required if opting for insurance coverage)
  • Pennsylvania
MedPay is not available in these states:
  • Minnesota
  • Oregon
  • New York
  • North Dakota
Medical payments coverage is optional in every other state.
Regardless of whether or not MedPay is offered in your state, you do need bodily injury protection when it comes to paying the medical bills associated with injuries suffered in a car accident. This could be in the form of your health insurance, personal injury protection (if offered), or some other means of coverage.
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How much does MedPay cost?

In most instances, MedPay coverage is less than $10 a month, and MedPay doesn’t require the policyholder to pay any deductibles or co-pay in conjunction with a claim.

What’s the difference between liability coverage and medical payments coverage?

Liability car insurance is required in every state except New Hampshire. Part of your liability insurance is bodily injury liability, which is designed to pay for the medical bills of anyone you might injure while driving your insured vehicle. MedPay is designed to protect you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault.

What’s the difference between personal injury protection and medical payments coverage?

In addition to MedPay, some states also have something called personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP covers a wider range of medical costs not covered by MedPay. PIP is normally the primary insurance, while MedPay serves as a secondary coverage. MedPay doesn’t have a deductible; PIP sometimes does.

How MedPay works with your health insurance

Only after your PIP insurance (if you have it) and your MedPay coverage has paid out does your health insurance kick in.
Once you receive a payout from any claim you filed against the other drivers, you will have to repay your car insurance company and health insurance for any payments it made on your behalf to cover your treatment.

How to search for medical payments insurance quotes

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Is medical payments coverage necessary?

Medical payments coverage is only necessary in Maine and Pennsylvania. If you are opting in for car insurance in New Hampshire, you will need to include MedPay on your policy.
In every other state, medical payments coverage is either optional or not available.

Is there medical payments coverage for homeowners?

Yes, there are medical payments coverage options for homeowners. Medical payments coverage on a homeowners insurance policy will cover any non-household member who gets injured on the property.
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