Medical Payments Coverage vs. PIP: What’s the Difference?

MedPay and PIP offer immediate payment for medical costs stemming from an auto accident. But PIP is more comprehensive—and at least twice as expensive.
Written by Sarah Gray
Edited by Amy Bobinger
background
While MedPay and PIP both help cover medical costs for you or your passengers after a car accident, PIP benefits are more comprehensive. But extra
car insurance
coverage for rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and other medical expenses also make PIP the more expensive option. 

Medical payments coverage vs personal injury protection 

Both
medical payments coverage (MedPay)
and
personal injury protection (PIP)
offer policyholders immediate payment for medical costs stemming from an auto accident—but PIP is more comprehensive.
Here’s a breakdown of the differences between MedPay coverage and PIP insurance:
Infographic explaining that MedPay covers Medical bills, expenses, and copays, doctor and hospital visits, dental treatment, ambulance transportation, X-rays, surgery, chiropractic treatment, some medical equipment, like prosthetics, and funeral expenses. PIP covers all this, plus, death benefits, replacement services for cleaning, childcare, and other tasks if injuries prevent or make them difficult to perform, psychiatric treatment, physical or occupational therapy, and rehabilitation.
exclamation icon
MedPay and PIP do not cover vehicle or property damage for either yourself or others—you need
liability coverage
,
collision insurance
, and
comprehensive coverage
for that.

Costs and limits for MedPay and PIP

MedPay is typically cheaper than PIP.
  • MedPay costs an average of $2 to $15 per month.
  • PIP policies cost an average of $10 to $35 per month. 
Depending on your state and insurance provider, MedPay limits typically range from $1,000 to $10,000 per person. PIP limits also vary by state, but can range as high as $25,000 per person.
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MedPay and PIP requirements and availability

Some states include MedPay or PIP as part of their
required minimum coverage
. Other states offer MedPay or PIP as an optional add-on to your standard insurance policy, but some don’t offer either option.
Jerry’s insurance experts have gathered everything you need to know about where MedPay and PIP are required, and where they’re available to add as optional coverage here.
Coverage
Required
Optional
Unavailable
ME
,
NH
*,
PA
**
AK
,
AL
,
AZ
,
AR
,
CA
,
CO
,
CT
,
DE
,
FL
,
GA
,
HI
,
ID
,
IL
,
IN
,
IA
,
KS
,
KY
,
LA
,
MD
,
MA
,
MI
,
MS
,
MO
,
MT
,
NE
,
NV
,
NJ
,
NM
,
NC
,
OH
,
OK
,
RI
,
SC
,
SD
,
TN
,
TX
,
UT
,
VT
,
VA
,
WA
,
WV
,
WI
,
WY
, DC
MN
,
OR
,
NY
,
ND
DE
,
FL
,
HI
,
KS
,
KY
†,
MA
,
MD
†,
MI
,
MN
,
NJ
,
NY
,
ND
,
OR
,
PA
†,
UT
 
AR
,
CT
,
NH
*,
SD
,
TX
,
VA
,
WA
, DC
AK
,
AL
,
AZ
,
CA
,
CO
,
GA
,
ID
,
IL
,
IN
,
IA
,
LA
,
ME
,
MS
,
MO
,
MT
,
NE
,
NV
NM
,
NC
,
OH
,
OK
,
RI
,
SC
,
TN
,
VT
,
WV
,
WI
,
WY
* MedPay is required for New Hampshire drivers who choose to purchase a car insurance policy to satisfy the state’s financial responsibility requirement.
** MedPay is known as First Party Benefit (FPB) in Pennsylvania.
† PIP required for drivers who choose no-fault coverage in choice-fault states.
exclamation icon
PIP coverage is included by default in all auto insurance policies in
Kentucky
,
Maryland
,
Texas
, and
Washington
. Drivers must reject the coverage in writing if they choose not to carry it in these states. 

MedPay vs. PIP: Which is better

Six states (
Arkansas
,
Connecticut
,
South Dakota
, Texas,
Virginia
, and Washington) give drivers the choice between MedPay and PIP. If you live in one of these states, we generally recommend you opt for PIP:
  • PIP offers more comprehensive coverage benefits than MedPay
  • Unlike MedPay, payouts from PIP are not subject to
    subrogation
    , meaning you won’t have to worry about paying them back.

Do you need MedPay or PIP?

While some states require policyholders to carry PIP coverage or MedPay, both insurance coverages are worth considering if you’re looking to equip yourself with added financial security in the event of a motor vehicle accident. Rather than relying on your health insurance policy, waiting for payouts from an at-fault driver’s insurance policy (or your own insurance), or waiting even longer on payouts from a lawsuit, you can get your medical bills and/or copays covered quickly with MedPay and PIP.
While you can’t purchase both insurance coverages simultaneously, both MedPay and PIP coverage offer peace of mind to protect yourself and the ones you love—along with your wallet.
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FAQ

What are the benefits of MedPay?

There are no deductibles or copays with MedPay. Additionally, MedPay benefits offer immediate payments on insurance claims no matter who is at-fault in a car accident.

What are some disadvantages of MedPay?

MedPay’s coverage is limited with a maximum payout of about $5,000 to $10,000 per person. Plus, your auto insurance company has the right to seek reimbursement from the responsible party or their insurer. If your insurer successfully recovers the funds paid through MedPay, they may require you to repay the recovered amount to avoid issuing duplicate benefits for the same medical expenses.

Is PIP the same as MedPay?

No—like MedPay, PIP covers your medical expenses and hospital bills, but PIP also pays for lost income and additional medical services such as psychiatric care, rehabilitation, and physical or occupational therapy.

Can you have both PIP and MedPay in Texas?

No. While many insurance companies offer both PIP and MedPay, you can usually only choose one type of coverage in
Texas

Does using MedPay increase your premium?

No. Your insurance premium will not increase simply for filing a MedPay claim. 

Do I need PIP or MedPay if I have health insurance coverage?

Yes—even with health insurance, MedPay and/or PIP are still beneficial. For example, if you're in a car accident that results in bodily injury, MedPay covers expenses with no deductible, and you can get assistance with services such as clearing and child care through a PIP claim, even when not available through your personal health insurance coverage.

Meet our experts

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Sarah Gray
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Writer and Editor
Sarah Gray is an insurance writer with nearly a decade of experience in publishing and writing. Sarah specializes in writing articles that educate car owners and buyers on the full scope of car ownership—from shopping for and buying a new car to scrapping one that’s breathed its last and everything in between. Sarah has authored over 1,500 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from first-time buyer programs to how to get a salvage title for a totaled car.
Prior to joining Jerry, Sarah was a full-time professor of English literature and composition with multiple academic writing publications.
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Amy Bobinger
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Editor
Expert insurance writer and editor Amy Bobinger specializes in car repair, car maintenance, and car insurance. Amy is passionate about creating content that helps consumers navigate challenges related to car ownership and achieve financial success in areas relating to cars.
Amy has over 10 years of writing and editing experience. After several years as a freelance writer, Amy spent four years as an editing fellow at WikiHow, where she co-authored over 600 articles on topics including car maintenance and home ownership. Since joining Jerry’s editorial team in 2022, Amy has edited over 2,500 articles on car insurance, state driving laws, and car repair and maintenance.

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