Does car insurance pay for medical bills?

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Things to remember...

  • Med pay is a coverage you must elect to have on your auto insurance policy
  • Medical expenses after an accident are covered under med pay, regardless of who is at fault
  • Med pay covers most post-accident medical expenses, including ambulance, emergency room, hospital, doctor, specialists, diagnostic, and therapy bills

Once you have recovered from the initial shock of being in a car accident, you likely have several questions. Among other things, you may be wondering if your car insurance will pay any of your medical bills.

This answer depends on the type of coverage you have selected on your policy. To get the best price on your policy, and allow you to get more coverage, consider using an online price comparison tool for auto insurance.

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Understanding Your Auto Insurance Coverage

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An individual auto policy has several different components and options. The coverage you have will depend on your personal preferences, the legal requirements in your state, and how much you can afford in premiums every month.

You should check with your insurance agent and your local laws to be sure you are buying all the coverage you need and want to have. To make the best decision and be informed here are the different coverage types available to you:

  • LiabilityLiability coverage is required in most states. This is the least amount of coverage available. Liability only covers any damage you cause to another person’s vehicle or property. It will not cover any damage to your own vehicle or medical payments. There are two parts to liability coverage; bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
  • CollisionCollision coverage covers your car if it is damaged in an accident with another vehicle, or any other object, such as a brick wall, curb, or fire hydrant. It is not a legal requirement, however, if you have a loan on your vehicle, your bank may require you to have it.
  • ComprehensiveComprehensive coverage is for events that do not involve a collision, such as vandalism or theft. It can also be used in the event of a fire, encounters with wildlife or a natural disaster. Like collision coverage, it is not legally required, though if you have a loan on the vehicle the lender may require you to purchase it.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured MotoristThis type of coverage will provide for expenses if you are hit by another driver who does not have auto insurance or the appropriate amounts of coverage. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is mandated by law in some states.
  • Medical PaymentsCoverage for medical payments, also commonly known as Med Pay or MPC, will provide for medical payments for you and your passengers if you need medical attention after an accident. States have varying laws regarding this type of coverage.

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How Does Med Pay Work?

When you need medical care after an accident, you should give the care provider your car insurance information, just as you would give them your health coverage information.

The provider should bill your car insurance company directly. Once you have exhausted your med pay coverage, your health insurance may cover some or all of any remaining expenses.

In cases where the medical provider will not or cannot directly bill your car insurance company, you can pay up front for the expense and request a receipt.

You can then use the receipt to submit to your car insurance company for reimbursement. Once approved, they will send the check directly to you.

You will need to check with your claims adjuster on the specific policies and procedures that must be followed in order to receive reimbursement for your medical experiences related to your car accident.

What Does Med Pay Cover

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Med pay coverage should pay for anything medically related to your accident, up to the limits of the policy. Most med pay policies go up to $5,000. In some cases, the $5,000 is stackable.

For instance, if three people were injured in an accident in your vehicle, the $5,000 limit should be applied on a per person basis. Med pay will cover a variety of medical needs.

These include the following:

  • Ambulance rides
  • Emergency room expenses
  • Doctor’s office visits
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery
  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medical devices, such as an oxygen tank, crutches, or a wheelchair
  • Care from a specialized doctor
  • Overnight hospital stays
  • Diagnostic tests, such as labs and x-rays
  • Home medical care

What if My Med Pay is Exhausted or I Do Not Have Med Pay?

If you do not have any med pay coverage or have used it all and still have medical expenses, in most cases, your health insurance coverage will apply.

However, you will be responsible for paying any deductibles and co-pays associated with your care, just as if they were not accident related.

Depending on the cost of your medical bills, you also have the option of hiring a personal injury lawyer and suing the other party’s insurance company to compel them to pay for your medical and other bills.

If you were to win in court or receive a settlement, it is important to note that if your health insurance company paid on any of the claims, they have a subrogation right to any monies paid to you.

Dealing with all of the ins and outs after a car accident can be quite a hassle. Knowing the policies that you have and their limits can help you prepare for an event when you need to utilize them.

Med pay is set up to make it more convenient for those people who are injured in an accident to get reimbursed for their care. To get the best rates on your auto insurance policy, check out an online comparison calculator.

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