What is Med-Pay?
Med-Pay, or medical payment insurance, provides coverage for medical expenses incurred by anyone covered under your policy (sometimes even pedestrians injured by you) regardless of the at-fault party. If you are in an auto accident, Med-Pay will pay for the medical expenses (and sometimes lost earnings) of anyone covered under your policy, without regard to who was at-fault.
For example, if you are in an auto accident and the other party is at-fault, Med-Pay will cover your medical bills and those of anyone covered under your policy. Even if you are at-fault, it will still pay for any covered driver or passenger injured in the accident. Thus, Med-Pay is a type of “no-fault” insurance coverage.
If you are injured in an auto accident where someone else is at-fault, the other person’s liability insurance will rarely pay your medical bills as you incur them. Rather, you will be reimbursed for your medical bills as part of your settlement or, if the case does not settle, as part of your jury award. This reimbursement can take several months or even years. Meanwhile, your healthcare provider will be seeking payment from you. Med-Pay can help by paying your medical bills as they incur. Read further for a better understanding of Med-Pay and why you need it.
Why You Should Have Med-Pay
Med-Pay is relatively inexpensive, and plans can be purchased to provide anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 worth of coverage for injuries to any driver or passenger in your car that resulted from the auto accident. Keep in mind, however, that although some policies pay lost wages as well, this coverage only pays medical bills. It does not pay for pain and suffering.
Med-Pay is commonly found in auto insurance policies but is also included in most property insurance policies. Med-Pay, as part of property insurance policy (PIP), pays for medical bills incurred from injuries suffered by someone on property covered by the policy. It is similar to Med-Pay coverage for car accidents, but is applicable to injuries on property rather than in a car. For example, if someone slips and falls on covered property, the medical bills are paid by the Med-Pay coverage.
While Med-Pay can be very effective in Missouri, there are a few things that prospective customers should know. First, while in some states you are required to purchase a minimum amount of Med-Pay coverage, it is fully optional in Missouri. Second, if another driver is at-fault for the accident and you successfully pursue a claim against him or her to receive compensation for your medical bill, you will not have to reimburse Med-Pay for any bills paid while you were pursuing the case.
It is advisable to first exhaust your Med-Pay coverage before submitting a claim to your regular health insurance company, should you have health coverage. Because most health care providers enjoy the right to be reimbursed if you eventually settle your claim, you may have to repay your health insurance provider for any medical bills covered while you waited to receive payment from the at-fault driver. Med-Pay does not have this “right of subrogation.” Therefore, you should use your Med-Pay first, then submit remaining bills to your health insurance company. That way, you pay back less and keep more of the settlement for yourself.
Have Questions? Get Answers!
The St. Louis, Missouri personal injury lawyers at Carey, Danis & Lowe handle personal injury cases that involve both Med-Pay and liability payments to people injured in accidents. If you or someone you care about has been injured, call us today at (877) 678-3400 / Phone (314) 725-7700 to schedule an appointment, or fill out one of our contact forms.