MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Under California law, all drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage. All other types of vehicular insurance are optional. Medical payments coverage, often referred to as “Med-Pay,” is one policy addition that is frequently misunderstood. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to add med-pay coverage to your liability policy.
What is Med Pay?
Med Pay coverage pays the medical expenses of the driver of the covered vehicle and all passengers up to your policy limit no matter who is at fault for the accident. You choose the policy limit, which is usually $5,000 per person. You can increase the coverage with very little increase in your premiums.
In addition, Med Pay will cover you and your family members when you are passengers in another car. It will also pay the medical expenses of you and your family members who are injured by a motor vehicle when any of you are pedestrians.
What coverage is included in a med pay policy?
Generally, a med pay policy covers:
· Fees incurred due to ambulance and EMT services
· Emergency room visit
· Hospital stay
· Doctor and dentist fees
· Necessary blood tests
· Nursing services
· Prosthetics including dental such as dentures or implants
· Funeral expenses
One caveat is that all medical expenses must be necessary due to the specific injury caused by the accident. Since med pay covers you and your passengers no matter who was at fault for the accident, your insurance company cannot legally raise your premium when you utilize this benefit.
Med Pay is a good option even if you have health insurance
One significant benefit to med pay is that it covers your passengers. Your health insurance only pays for your own medical expenses. Personal medical insurance policies often have high co-pays and deductibles. Med pay policies are available that have no copays or deductibles and will pay up to the limit of the policy. Med pay may also pay copays and deductibles incurred when you use your private health insurance. There is no waiting. The coverage begins the minute you are injured and pays all reasonable and medically necessary expenses that are incurred as a result of the accident.
Questions to ask your agent
Although med pay has many benefits, know exactly what coverage you are purchasing. When asked by an agent, “Do you want med pay?” do not just answer yes or no. At a minimum, you should ask these questions:
· Does the med pay provision require any co-pay for any services?
· Do you have to meet a deductible before the med pay begins covering your medical
· Does the policy require you to pay back the medical expenses if you collect from a
third party, such as from a personal injury lawsuit?
· Is the coverage considered secondary, only coming into play after your health
insurance benefits are exhausted?
Ask these questions before you buy the policy. Do not wait to be surprised after an injury occurs. Be informed and be sure the policy you purchase provides the med pay coverage you expect.