What is Medical Payments Coverage?

Both Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverages are designed to protect you against at-fault drivers who are unable to cover the damage that they cause.

Medical payments coverage (often called Med Pay) provides medical and/or funeral expenses after an auto accident.

Med Pay is typically expressed as a coverage limit on your insurance policy and does not feature a deductible.

Medical payments coverage for car insurance is only required in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Maine currently, but can be added as optional coverage in other states.

Med Pay has two unique coverages:

If you’re injured by a vehicle as a pedestrian or while riding a bike, Med Pay would cover the costs as you were injured by a vehicle but you weren’t in your vehicle.

Med Pay follows the policyholder, as opposed to following the vehicle (like car insurance). As an example, in the event of a collision that occurs while riding in a friend’s car, medical payments coverage would cover you.

What does Med Pay cover?

Med Pay covers only bodily injuries directly related to a car accident. Medical payments coverage applies regardless of who was deemed at-fault in the collision. After an accident, Med Pay covers costs such as:

    • Medical treatment
    • EMT/ambulance fees
    • Hospital expenditures, like X-rays
    • Aftercare bills
    • Funeral expenses (hopefully no one dies)

Med Pay vs. PIP?

Med Pay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) both cover your and your passengers’ bodily injury costs incurred from a car accident.

PIP is required in more states and offers more coverage options than Med Pay. PIP offers coverage for lost wages and rehab expenses in addition to the direct medical care and surgical coverage offered by Med Pay.

Which is better, Med Pay or PIP?

You shouldn’t need both Med Pay and PIP.

If you live in one of the 12 states that require no-fault insurance, those states require you to have PIP and thus it doesn’t make much sense to also have Med Pay as PIP coverage provides more protection than Med Pay.

If you live in the other states that aren’t no-fault insurance states, PIP might not be an option.  In these states, carrying Med Pay might be a good idea, especially if you don’t have a good healthcare plan as Med Pay can help pay deductibles and co-pays if you use your health care after a car accident.

PIP vs. Med Pay vs. Health Insurance

Which coverage is right for you depends on your state and your health insurance coverage.

    • Depending on your health plan and state, medical expenses related to a car accident might be excluded from your health insurance coverage. If this is you, then Med Pay or PIP is a coverage you probably need.

Order of operations: normally a mathematical term, but it applies in insurance too.

    • If your Health insurance relies on Med Pay or PIP to act as the primary insurance provider, they can deny claims submitted. Now, if your Med Pay is secondary, your health care is primary and covers the medical expenses first,  then you might be able to use Med Pay to cover your deductible.

Having PIP or Med Pay and health care will ensure you minimize how much you have to pay out-of-pocket healthcare expenses after an accident.

What are Med Pay options by State?

StateMed Pay availability
AlabamaYes, optional
AlaskaYes, optional
ArizonaYes, optional
ArkansasYes, optional
CaliforniaYes, optional
ColoradoYes, optional
ConnecticutYes, optional
DelawareYes, optional
FloridaYes, optional
GeorgiaYes, optional
HawaiiYes, optional
IdahoYes, optional
IllinoisYes, optional
IndianaYes, optional
IowaYes, optional
KansasYes, optional
KentuckyYes, optional
LouisianaYes, optional
MarylandYes, optional
MassachusettsYes, optional
MichiganYes, optional
MinnesotaNot available
MississippiYes, optional
MissouriYes, optional
MontanaYes, optional
NebraskaYes, optional
NevadaYes, optional
New HampshireRequired
New JerseyYes, optional
New MexicoYes, optional
New YorkNot available
North CarolinaYes, optional
North DakotaNot available
OhioYes, optional
OklahomaYes, optional
OregonNot available
Rhode IslandYes, optional
South CarolinaYes, optional
South DakotaYes, optional
TennesseeYes, optional
TexasYes, optional
UtahYes, optional
VermontYes, optional
VirginiaYes, optional
WashingtonYes, optional
West VirginiaYes, optional
WisconsinYes, optional
WyomingYes, optional
Washington DCYes, optional

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