A simple way to think of medical payment coverage (a.k.a. “med-pay”) is that it is health insurance built into your auto policy to cover medical treatment related to a car accident. Thus, you cannot use your med-pay coverage to get a flu shot. The medical treatment it covers must be connected to a motor vehicle accident. Additionally, it will only cover medical treatment up to your med-pay limits. Once your limit has been met, your auto insurance will stop paying for further treatment.

Is Med-Pay Coverage Required?

In most states, med-pay coverage is optional and therefore you are not required to have it.

Do You Recommend Med-Pay Coverage?

Even though it is not required, I recommend that all individuals carry some med-pay coverage to protect themselves and passengers in their vehicle. If you are unfortunate enough to have a brief lapse in your health insurance and be involved in a motor vehicle accident during that time, you can ensure that some, if not all, of your medical bills will be paid. Also, you may have a passenger in your vehicle who does not have health insurance. If that passenger is injured in the accident, they can use your med-pay coverage to pay for medical treatment.

Additionally, med-pay coverage can generally be used to cover these expenses:

  • Medical expenses you incur after you are injured as a passenger in someone else’s car;
  • Medical expenses you incur after you are hit by a vehicle while walking or bicycling;
  • Dental care that is needed following a motor vehicle accident; and
  • Funeral expenses following a motor vehicle accident.

What Else Should I Know When Considering Med-Pay Coverage?

Another important consideration when deciding whether to add med-pay to your auto insurance policy is the deductible on your health insurance plan. If you have a high deductible, you can often use the med-pay coverage to pay your deductible before your health insurance starts kicking in to cover the remaining bills.

Here’s an example: Becky has a $6,000 deductible for her health insurance. If Becky is injured and needs treatment, she will need to pay $6,000 out-of-pocket before her health insurance starts covering her treatment. Becky could get $6,000 med-pay coverage in her auto policy. Then, if Becky is injured in a car accident, she can use the $6,000 med-pay coverage to cover her deductible before her health insurance starts covering the rest.

Get Coverage In Place BEFORE You Need It

Insurance coverage can be confusing, but it’s good to know what type of coverage you have before an accident occurs. If you’re concerned about your insurance coverage, you should talk to your insurance agent or request a copy of your declarations page from your insurance company. Finally, if you have been involved in an auto accident through no fault of your own, you should seek an attorney to assist you in protecting your rights.