What ‘s Med Pay and Do You Really Need It?

September 13, 2008


Those drivers living in “no-fault” states are required, by law to
buy either Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments
(Med Pay) coverage. PIP and Med Pay cover the medical bills of you
and the passengers in your car after a crash that requires hospital
treatment or where there were injuries, regardless of who’s at
fault. If you have Med Pay as part of your auto insurance, you will
file a claim with the insurance company registered to your vehicle.
Filing a claim requires several steps and needs to be recorded so
all steps are covered and the people or person gets what they need.
You would first have to pay for your treatment up front. Get a
receipt from the doctor or hospital after the treatment is complete
and send the receipt to the insurance company. Wait for your
reimbursement check from the company and ask about how long to take
to get there. If you use Med Pay to cover medical expenses, tell
the doctor or hospital your auto insurance will pay for the
treatment so you won’t be billed directly. Also, have your
insurance information handy in case the hospital or doctor needs
it. If you have no such insurance you could end up paying out of
pocket for any medical needs to you or others as result of an
accident. It would be worth the extra money to have this than shell
out thousands of dollars you might not have.

Med Pay is designed for immediate and short-term care and is used
first as a form of payment for any accident. Once your Med Pay
limits are exceeded, your health insurance then kicks in and covers
the rest of the costs. As for your passengers, either their health
will kick in or your auto insurance will have to pay,
which may increase your monthly premium. This is standard primary
coverage for automobile accidents in no fault states. If you are in
a state that doesn’t have no fault insurance then Med Pay pays for
medical expenses first from your auto insurance company. Once the
Med Pay has been maximized out then you can resort to your medical
benefits to cover the rest. Med Pay usually has no deductible and
is useful to those who want to make sure medical pay is there in
the case of an accident. It can take time to get the at fault
driver’s insurance company to pay, so having a back up is good. If
you were the one at fault it is best to be able to get the other
people or person treated and not have to pay out of pocket.

Med Pay will normally cover the necessary expenses for surgical,
medical, dental, and possible chiropractic services. It also covers
hospitalization, X-rays, nursing services, ambulance ride,
prosthetic devices, and funeral services. In many situations,
having Med Pay is a smart way of coverage. There are certain
situations in which Med Pay can be valuable, such as when you are
driving with someone who’s not a family member. Med Pay covers
everyone in the vehicle at the time of the accident, so your
friends and others will have coverage, even if they don’t have
health insurance. Med Pay can help offset the deductible that comes
with your auto or health insurance. If you have health insurance or
belong to an HMO, you probably don’t need Med Pay, but see what
your policy will and won’t cover. But it might be a nice buffer
just in case your medical insurance gives you a hard time; you can
never be too prepared. Also, Med Pay is no substitute for broader
health insurance; few companies are willing to sell more than
$25,000 worth of Med Pay coverage. Make sure you know about all the
policies you have and pay for and what they cover and what they
don’t. This can be very useful later if you need it. There is
nothing worse than getting into an unfortunate accident and having
no clue what is covered and what isn’t. Once the accident has
occurred your insurance has lost money and will do anything to not
pay, know your rights and what their job is to provide to you. When
you are choosing insurance, it is always a wise idea to carefully
check into the plan so you know what it will and will not cover.
You will never know when you will need your policy, so you should
be prepared.

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational and informational
purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for
professional advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed Insurance
Agent or Broker with any questions you may have regarding any
Insurance Matter.