Do I need medical payment coverage on my auto insurance?

What does Med Pay cover?

If you’re involved in an auto accident, medical payments coverage can take care of expenses such as:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital visits or stays
  • Nursing services and care
  • Ambulance and EMT fees
  • Health insurance deductibles and co-pays
  • Funeral expenses
  • Surgery, X-rays, and dental procedures

How does medical payments coverage on auto insurance work?

Medical payments coverage can help cover medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured in an accident — no matter who caused the accident.

Medical payments coverage can help cover a range of expenses, depending on your policy. Here are some of them.

  • Health insurance deductibles and copays
  • Doctor and hospital visits
  • Surgeries
  • X-rays
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Ambulance fees
  • Prosthesis
  • Dental care
  • Nursing services
  • Funeral expenses

Say you’re in a car accident where you hit another driver, and you and your passengers are injured. Everyone receives medical treatment, and the total cost is around $20,000.

Who pays for these medical expenses?

Your health insurance may cover some of your costs. Medical payments coverage can fill some gaps by helping to cover your passengers’ expenses and any of your medical expenses that health insurance may not cover — up to the coverage limit. You choose the coverage limit when you buy medical payments coverage. Expenses beyond that limit would need to be paid out of pocket.

But if you don’t have medical payments coverage, you’d be responsible for paying your medical expenses that health insurance doesn’t cover out of your own pocket.

Medical payments coverage versus bodily injury liability insurance

While both medical payments coverage and bodily injury liability insurance help pay for medical expenses, they each cover different parties.

Medical payments coverage helps cover your and your passengers’ medical expenses, while bodily injury liability insurance helps pay for the other driver’s medical expenses — but only if you cause the accident.


Should I Get Medical Payments Coverage on My Car Insurance Policy?

Adding optional coverages to your car insurance policy may sound unnecessary, but some car insurance extras may offer important benefits and make their (often low) cost worth it.

MedPay may be worth considering if your health insurance plan has a high deductible or significant copays for doctor and hospital visits. Your medical payments coverage can fill in some of those gaps left open by your health plan.

Also, if you’re in a car accident caused by the other driver, it could help you get reimbursed more quickly because you don’t have to wait for your insurance company to collect the money from the other driver’s insurer.

That said, it’s important to weigh these potential costs against the certainty of paying extra in your monthly premium. Consider your budget and the state of your savings to determine whether it’s the right fit for you.

Pros of Medical Payments Coverage

Buying medical payments car insurance coverage has some significant advantages:

  • Purchasing this add-on to your insurance is relatively affordable: The cost of MedPay is generally pretty reasonable, especially considering how expensive healthcare can be after an accident.
  • MedPay policies can help to fill gaps in coverage: Traditionally, car insurance won’t cover injuries you sustain from an accident you’re at fault for. This means if you don’t buy MedPay, you’re unprotected if something happens to you because you make a mistake while driving. MedPay can fill this gap and make sure insurance money is available to cover healthcare costs that exceed other coverage limits.
  • MedPay can supplement health insurance: Even if you have health insurance already, MedPay may cover things that your standard policy doesn’t, such as dental care arising from the accident, ambulance costs, nursing care, or chiropractic care. It can help pay coinsurance costs and cover your deductible.
  • MedPay can help protect your entire family: You and everyone in your family will be covered if you buy a MedPay policy. So, if your loved one is hurt in an accident, including as a pedestrian or bicycle rider, your MedPay policy will pay the bills for care.

What does medical payments cover?

Medical payments coverage applies to you and your relatives that live in your home. It may also apply to your passengers. This coverage helps pay for medical bills, including funeral expenses as a result of an accident. Some examples of these medical bills could include:

  • Doctor visits
  • ER visits
  • X-rays
  • Chiropractic services

Medical payments can also provide coverage if you’re injured:

  • In an accident while in someone else’s vehicle
  • While being struck as a pedestrian

#1 How much is med pay?

Because med pay is an add-on coverage, it will cost anywhere from a few dollars a month to a hundred dollars a month, depending on what level of coverage you get.

Determining Your MedPay Coverage Needs

It’s also important to remember that the cov Before you decide how much medical payments coverage to buy, look at the amount your health insurer will pay for accident-related injury expenses. If it doesn’t look like your health insurer will cover the full amount of potential medical costs from a car collision, you’ll likely want to get some MedPay protection.It’s also important to remember that the coverage amount you buy helps determine your MedPay premium. So, the more your insurance policy covers, the higher the cost will be.You’ll also want to keep in mind that unlike health insurance coverage, there are no deductibles or co-payments. You can also add this insurance protection right onto your auto policy with us.To see how much the right coverage for your needs will cost, read through our car insurance calculator page.

If I Have Health Insurance, Do I Need Med Pay?

Many drivers question whether they need Med Pay because they have health insurance. However, some health insurance companies do not cover injuries sustained in a car accident. Further, some doctor’s offices do not treat patients injured in a car accident, unless they pay upfront. Even if your health insurance company covers your injures in a car accident, you will likely have to pay a co-pay or pay up to your deductible before your health insurance will pay for the rest. Med Pay can either reimburse you for these out-of-pocket costs or be sent to the doctor’s office directly.

Does auto insurance cover medical expenses?

Auto liability insurance, which is required by law in the majority of states, will cover the other driver’s property or bodily injuries if you’re found at fault in an accident. It can reduce some of the financial burdens resulting from an at-fault accident, but it generally won’t cover medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured (liability coverage may cover your passengers’ medical expenses in some states). But if you add medical payments coverage to your auto policy, you’re generally covered for medical expenses resulting from an accident.

Why Should I Use My Insurance – I Wasn’t At Fault?

Personal injury clients who have medical payments coverage, many times, ask “why should I use my insurance when the accident wasn’t my fault?” The insurance company for the at-fault person will ultimately be responsible for your losses. However, your medical bills will still have to be paid out of your personal injury settlement. Having Med Pay allows you and your passengers to have peace of mind and achieve a quicker recovery while waiting for a resolution to your personal injury case. The insurance company and at-fault driver will not benefit from the fact that you have protected yourself by adding Med Pay to your car insurance.

As a sidenote, in many states, personal injury clients must pay back any Med Pay out of their personal injury settlement. However, a highly skilled Georgia personal injury attorney can use current Georgia law to eliminate the amount paid back to the insurance company.

Should you get medical payments coverage on your policy?

Although medical payments coverage is usually optional; it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions.

  • Do you have health insurance?
  • If you do have health insurance, do you have a deductible?
  • Are you able to pay an unexpected medical expense on your own?

Depending on your responses, you should decide what works best for you.

Medical payments coverage may also help cover your health plan’s co-payments and amounts that exceed your health plan’s allowances for medical treatment in some states.

#4 What is the difference between bodily injury liability coverage and medical payments?

Bodily injury liability insurance will only cover other drivers or passengers’ medical bills if you cause an accident. It will not pay for you or your passengers’ medical bills. On the other hand, med pay will protect you by paying medical bills after an accident.

We hope our guide to medical expense auto insurance has helped you decide if adding auto insurance medical payments to your policy is right for you. Start comparing med pay auto insurance coverage rates by entering your ZIP code in our free tool below.


How does medical payments coverage work?

To get a claim payout, you can either receive a direct reimbursement or add MedPay to your existing health insurance policy. It depends on what your auto and home insurance policies allow and whether you live in a no-fault state. When we contacted customer service and claims representatives at major insurers, we couldn’t get a clear answer. Geico seems to consider health insurance the primary coverage, while Progressive and State Farm representatives said MedPay would pay out first. Check your policy to be sure.

How MedPay works if it acts as primary coverage

After an accident, you would pay your medical bills upfront and ask your MedPay carrier for reimbursement. You won’t have to pay for deductibles or copays, which are typically associated with health insurance. If your MedPay is considered secondary coverage, then your health insurer would pay for the majority of your medical bills. You could use MedPay to cover your deductibles or copays.

Coverage limits on MedPay are usually low. They’re mainly intended to cover immediate medical and funeral expenses following an accident or to supplement other types of insurance. And if you’re injured while on the job, then you’re covered by workers’ compensation and not MedPay.

If I have health insurance or personal injury protection, do I need MedPay?

The three coverages overlap, so the answer depends on how your health insurance policy is structured and where you live. You might want to consider medical payments coverage even if you have health insurance and personal injury protection.

Health Insurance

Health insurance typically pays for medical expenses, but some policies exclude injuries related to a car accident. That can leave you on the hook for high out-of-pocket expenses. Medical payments coverage could help pay for those expenses and give you peace of mind. If your health insurance covers car accidents, then you’d likely have to pay a deductible or a copay before your insurance kicks in. MedPay can reimburse you for those costs. But you’ll have to check if it’s worth paying for both types of policies. If you don’t have a deductible and your health insurance covers car accidents, then you don’t need MedPay.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection (PIP), which is mandatory in no-fault states and optional in other states, has a wider reach compared to MedPay. PIP covers health costs, psychiatric care, rehabilitative care and lost wages. But PIP is subject to claim limits. So if your state requires PIP, then you might consider getting MedPay, too. That’s because you’ll need to pay for any overages if your medical bills exceed your PIP limits. If you have both types of policies, then you’d use PIP to cover rehabilitation costs and lost wages and have MedPay reimburse you for hospital and doctor visits.

Michigan may be the only state where you don’t need MedPay. It’s the only no-fault auto insurance state with no limit on medical expenses. Once your medical expenses reach a certain threshold, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) starts reimbursing the insurance company. You wouldn’t be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses.