What is Med Pay Car Insurance?
In Santa Clarita Valley and in San Fernando Valley, I have often spoken with people about “Medical Payments Coverage” or “Med Pay”? What is it? Do you need it? Should you carry it?
What is “Med Pay”?
Some automobile insurance policies carry coverage that is labeled “Medical Payments Coverage”, Known as “Med Pay” for short. If you have Med Pay Coverage in your auto insurance policy and you are injured in a car accident, then you can use your auto policy (up to the limits of your Med Pay provision) to pay for reasonable medical expenses, regardless of fault.
Do you need it and/or should you carry it?
Med Pay covers reasonable medical expenses. This includes:
- Ambulance bills;
- Emergency Room – hospital fees;
- Emergency Room – doctor fees;
- Emergency Room – radiology department fees;
- Chiropractic treatments;
- Physical Therapy treatments; and
- Medical doctor bills, including Orthopedic Surgeons.
Treatments not covered:
Some of the treatment outlined above, such as chiropractic, are generally not covered by health insurance policies. So, unless you have Med Pay coverage, you could be a responsible for your chiropractic treatments. So, in that respect – yes, you need it and should have it.
Deductibles and copays:
If you use your health insurance to pay for ambulance, emergency room, and medical doctors, you may be responsible for deductible and/or co-pays. However, if you use your Med Pay, there are no deductibles and no co-pays.
Delay in treatment:
Under some health insurance policies, you must wait for approval before seeing a specialist or moving on to treatment. This is not the case when using your med pay. So, there is no delay in seeking treatment.
Will your auto insurance rates go up?
Your auto insurance carrier cannot increase your rates if you use your med pay to pay for reasonable medical bills after an auto accident.
Who is covered under the Med Pay provision?
Under the Med Pay provision, the policy holder and any passengers who were also in the car at the time of the auto accident are covered.
What if you carry “full coverage” – do you still need “Med Pay”?
Despite what you may have heard, there is no such thing as “full coverage.” California law only requires that motorists carry liability coverage. Sometimes, motorist are sold liability and collision coverage and are told they are fully covered. That may be true in some respect, but they are “fully” covered under all scenarios – i.e. such policy would not have “med pay” coverage. You should check your policy to see what is actually covered.
Is Med Pay expensive?
The beauty of Med Pay coverage is that is very inexpensive. You should check with your insurance agent to see the rates.
What about “Future Medical Bills”, “Pain and Suffering”, and “Lost Wages”?
Following an auto accident, Med Pay Car Insurance only covers reasonable medical bills incurred as a result thereof. However, it does not pay for future medical bills, it does not pay for pain, suffering and/or inconvenience, and it does not pay for lost wages.
In order to recover these damages, you may need to consult with a personal injury attorney.
This article is brought to you by Mason Rashtian of The Mason Law Firm, a full-service personal injury attorney and accident lawyer. We represent clients all throughout California and Los Angeles County, including the Santa Clarita Valley, Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Canyon Country, Newhall, and the entire San Fernando Valley.
We can be reached at (661) 270-5677.
This article is meant for informational purposes only.