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The Importance of MedPay in your Car Insurance Policy

One of the most important optional car accident coverages that is available to us here in Massachusetts is medical payments, know as med pay in the industry. It provides coverage to you to pay medical bills in excess of the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and sometimes your personal health insurance. PIP traditionally covers up to $8K in payments. Health insurance varies greatly. Since the hospitals here in Boston are some of the most expensive (and excellent) in the world, you may find that the extra coverage is very important if you have a whiplash or other significant injury from a car accident.

Here is an excerpt from my book After the Car Crash that describes the benefit of this important, and very inexpensive coverage.

a. Medical Payments: One optional protection that I always recommend is called medical payments (Med Pay). Med Pay is an extra reserve of money that can be used for care of your own injuries and others in your auto. It can pay for expenses that health insurance won’t cover regardless of who is at fault. It can come in handy in several different scenarios. It is very inexpensive. On my last policy $10,000 of Med Pay coverage for each person costs only $13 per year!

According to Med Pay has the following characteristics:1. Moves with you: Walking, riding with a friend or on public transportation, instate or out of state as well as your insured vehicles, regardless of who is driving.2. It carries no deductible or co-pay.3. It kicks in before the hubcaps stop spinning to pay your medical bills, health insurance deductibles and co-pays.4. It covers a myriad of out of pocket costs that your health policy may not include such as dental, ambulance, chiropractic, prosthetics and in a worst case scenario, funeral expenses.
5. In the ‘no-fault’ states (like Massachusetts) Med Pay can even pick up the co-pay on the PIP portion of your car insurance or kick in seamlessly with 100% coverage after you’ve exhausted your PIP.6. It is not a stand-alone substitute. You must carry auto liability coverage in order to purchase Med Pay, and you would have to be injured in an auto accident to use it.7. “For example, if your health insurance has a $1,000 deductible, a 20 percent co-pay and you have a $5,000 medical claim from an accident, with your health insurance you would typically pay $1,800 out of pocket,” says Christy Moulton Perry, director of product management for Great Northwest Insurance Co. “But with your Med Pay, you would pay zero out of pocket. That’s a big difference.”8. Unlike liability coverage, Med Pay policy limits do not refer to the total available coverage, but instead to the amount available to each covered injured individual. That means if you, your spouse and your two children were injured in an auto accident, each of you could collect the limit amount on your $5,000 Med Pay coverage for a total of $20,000. However, your insurer won’t pay the same bills under both your Med Pay and liability coverage.9. If you’re injured in an accident that another insured driver caused, it can take months for their car insurance company to pay your medical bills. Sure, your health insurance may pay, but increasingly many of us carry high deductibles and co-pays that can stretch our finances to the breaking point before the insurance settlement with the other driver closes.4


In conclusion, call your car insurance agent today and request a quote for this important coverage. Hopefully you will never need it, but if you do you can thank me then.

Here is a link to the companion pocket guide

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