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Medical Payments Coverage: Car Insurance Options

Also called Medpay coverage, medical payments coverage in an auto policy pays for your or your passengers' medical and funeral expenses incurred due to a car accident, even if you were the at-fault driver. You may even be covered as a pedestrian or bicyclist if you are struck by a vehicle. Medical payments coverage for car insurance can be affordable and drivers may find coverage for less than $10 per month.

What Is Medical Payments Coverage for Car Insurance?

In an auto policy, medical payments (Medpay) coverage pays for medical and funeral expenses incurred as a result of a car accident. Medpay coverage pays for these expenses regardless of who was at fault, so you will still be covered if you caused the accident. Beyond yourself, Medpay coverage will extend to your passengers and any household members (unless specifically excluded in your policy) driving your vehicle.

What Does Medpay Cover?

Medpay coverage in an auto policy will pay for the following medical or funeral expenses:

  • Doctor visits

  • Hospital bills

  • Ambulance fees

  • Emergency room bills

  • X-rays

  • Surgeries

  • Nursing services

  • Prosthetic limbs

  • Some dental procedures

  • Health insurance deductibles and copays

  • Auto accident injuries sustained as a pedestrian or bicyclist

  • Funeral expenses if the car accident resulted in fatalities

Medical payments (Medpay) coverage pays for medical and funeral expenses incurred as a result of a car accident.

What Doesn't Medpay Cover?

You are not covered under Medpay for the following expenses and scenarios:

  • Bodily injuries or property damages to the other party in a car accident you caused

  • Damages to your vehicle (covered under collision)

  • Loss of income due to injuries preventing you from returning to work

  • Medical expenses in excess of your Medpay coverage limit

  • Non-auto related injuries

How Does Medical Payments Coverage Work

Medpay coverage is specifically for medical expenses incurred as a result of a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. There is no deductible or copayment before coverage kicks in. Generally, a Medpay claims process will require you to forward all relevant medical records and bills to get reimbursed, up to the coverage limits.

Medpay coverage is optional and is not a requirement for driving legally. This does not apply to personal injury protection, which functions similarly to Medpay but is required coverage in no-fault states (more on that later).

Medpay coverage follows the policyholder and not the vehicle for auto-related medical expenses. If you were injured in an auto accident as a pedestrian or while riding your bicycle, then you typically are covered under Medpay.

Medpay Example

Say you suffer a neck injury after rear-ending the driver in front of you at a stop sign. Your medical expenses total $1,000 and you have $1,500 in Medpay coverage. Even though you are the at-fault driver, you can file a Medpay claim and your auto insurer should cover the full $1,000 medical bill.

Things To Consider Before Adding Medpay to Your Policy

Health insurance will play a role in how much Medpay coverage you choose to buy.

Purchasing the minimum limits ($500 to $1,000) can be useful for treating minor injuries. Some healthcare plans may have a large deductible or copays that can increase your out-of-pocket costs for minor claims. Since Medpay coverage does not charge a deductible, you can get full coverage up to the limits.

If you do not have insurance at all, the Medpay coverage can be an affordable way to get medical coverage — at least for auto-related injuries. Or, if you have a health insurance deductible or copay then you may want to use Medpay to cover those costs specifically. However, if you are satisfied with your healthcare plan and deductible or copay, then Medpay insurance may not be necessary.

How Much Does Medpay Car Insurance Cost?

Medpay coverage is generally inexpensive and can cost less than $10 per month. Limits typically start at $500 or $1,000. Increasing your limits will increase the amount you pay for Medpay coverage.

With Medpay, you and your passengers will be covered, even if you caused the accident.

Medpay Coverage Limits

$500 or $1,000 is generally the lowest coverage limit you can purchase. Some insurers may offer limits as high as $100,000.

Medical Payments Coverage - Save Money on Auto Insurance!

What's the Difference Between Medpay and Personal Injury Protection?

The main differences between Medpay and personal injury protection (PIP) are availability, requirements and coverage scope.

PIP is available in states with no-fault laws. Similar to Medpay coverage, no-fault laws require that drivers are reimbursed by their own auto insurance companies for medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault. However, PIP is mandatory in several no-fault states and omitting coverage from your policy can be illegal.

Unlike health insurance, there is no deductible or copayment to use Medpay coverage.

PIP and Medpay share many of the same coverages, except PIP pays for loss of income. If you lose money because your auto-related injuries prevent you from returning to work, then your PIP coverage will reimburse you for your financial loss, up to the coverage limits.


Medpay

PIP

Availability

Traditional tort states (no no-fault laws)

States with no-fault laws

Required?

Optional

Typically required

First-party medical expenses

Yes

Yes

Loss of income protection

No

Yes

Funeral benefits

Yes

Yes

What's The Difference Between Liability And Medical Payments Coverage?

The circumstances in which Medpay coverage and liability coverage apply are different.

Medpay coverage is generally inexpensive and can cost less than $10 per month.

Medpay coverage only pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who is the at-fault driver. Liability coverage pays for the other party's medical expenses if they are the at-fault driver. If you are not the at-fault driver in a car accident, then the other driver's liability coverage pays for their losses and yours (unless they are uninsured or underinsured). Liability coverage pays for property damages, too, while Medpay will not cover any property damages at all, regardless of who is at fault.


Medpay

Liability

Legally Required?

Optional

Most states

Fault

Applies regardless of who is at fault

You are the at-fault driver

First-party benefits

Your and your passenger's medical bills

Does not pay for your and your passenger's medical bills

Liability

Does not cover the other party's medical expenses and property damages if you are at-fault

Covers the other party's medical expenses and property damages if you are at-fault

FAQs

Who needs Medpay?

Medical payments insurance is optional but it can be an affordable way to get zero-deductible medical coverage after a car accident, especially if you do not have health insurance.

How much medical payments coverage should you buy?

Generally, lower Medpay limits can be useful for treating minor injuries ($1,000 or less) without having to pay large deductibles or copays on some healthcare plans. Drivers without health insurance may want to consider buying higher Medpay coverage limits.

Do I need MedPay if I have health insurance?

Even with health insurance, Medpay can be useful for treating minor injuries without having to pay a large deductible some healthcare plans may have. For significant injuries, Medpay can pay healthcare insurance deductibles and copays.

Find Medpay Coverage for Cheap

Auto insurance is legally required in most states but Medpay isn't. As an optional coverage, it's nice to have in case of a car accident. SmartFinancial can help you find a new auto policy that includes Medpay coverage for a lower rate than what you're currently paying. Just enter your zip code below or call 855.214.2291 to get started on your free car insurance quotes.

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