Do You Know: What Is Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)?

Sep 02, 2022 By Susan Kelly


What Is Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)? Medical payments coverage, sometimes known as "med-pay" insurance, is something practically every auto insurance provider offers, at least for policies beyond the legally mandated minimums for liability. Medical payment coverage is one form of insurance that can provide us with direct financial security in the event of an accident-related injury. It's also a form of no-fault insurance because it pays out no matter who was at fault in an accident. If our loved ones or we are hurt while not in the covered vehicle, we may still be able to obtain medical payment coverage, which is analogous to uninsured motorist coverage. Unlike the handful of states that make it mandatory, medical payment coverage (medpay) is not mandated in California.

Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)

Medpay is particularly helpful when we need to pay for services from healthcare professionals who are not included in our health insurance networks. Med-pay allows injured persons more freedom to choose their doctor, allowing them to go to a chiropractor or a specialist that isn't covered by their standard health insurance policy. Even when seeing a doctor who is part of your standard health insurance network, you may still incur out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays and deductibles.

Medical payments insurance is quite affordable compared to other types of insurance, including liability or collision. It's a fair price for the majority of people. Personal injury settlements can benefit greatly from this provision, as it allows the injured party greater leeway in selecting their healthcare providers and determining how their expenses will be paid among the several motor insurance policies available. Limits for this coverage typically range from $1,000 to $5,000 and can be found on policies for all types of vehicles. It is also available in bigger sums of $10,000 to $25,000 or more. Determining how much health insurance to buy comes down to practical considerations like budget and the quality of a person's existing health coverage. However, as we will see below, med-pay coverage can still pay dividends even if you have a great health insurance plan.

Understanding MedPay

Injuries sustained in a car crash can result in a wide range of medical bills, all of which are covered by MedPay. It pays for doctor visits, hospital stays, X-rays, surgeries, ambulance and EMT bills, nursing home stays, rehabilitation, and even prosthetics. You are still protected no matter who is at fault for the collision. MedPay may be more practical in urban settings because it covers not just the policyholder but also any pedestrians who may be wounded in an accident. Due to the higher concentration of pedestrians in cities, pedestrian injuries are higher than in less densely populated suburban or rural areas. It's also helpful if you're in a position where you weren't a good driver. If you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs and caused an accident, your no-fault auto insurance coverage will not pay for damages. Self-pay medical care is covered only by MedPay.

What May Does Not Cover

There is a general exclusion in MedPay coverage for expenses only tangentially related to the accident and injury. You'll have to include time away from work, emotional distress, legal representation, and childcare costs. It won't pay for any repairs if something happens to your car. If the collision is your fault, it won't pay for the medical bills or repairs to the other driver's vehicle. However, if the accident is your fault, your liability insurance will cover the other drivers' medical bills and car repairs. Later in this piece, we'll evaluate medical payment and bodily injury liability policies.

MedPay Vs. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

A person looking into MedPay and bodily injury (BI) liability insurance can find some parallels. Both policies will pay for medical bills you incur due to an auto accident. The primary distinction is in the kind of people eligible for coverage. No matter who was at fault in an accident, the policyholder and their passengers would be covered by MedPay. When you cause an accident and another driver or pedestrian is hurt due to it, you are legally responsible for their medical expenses. In reality, a single accident may trigger both types of coverage. I'll give you an illustration:

Let's pretend you don't stop at the signal and cause an accident with another vehicle. Indeed, the blame lies squarely on your shoulders. You, your passenger, and the other motorist all sustain minor injuries in the incident and must report to the nearest hospital emergency room for care. Both of you have racked up thousands of dollars in medical expenses, including visits to the doctor and various diagnostic imaging and procedures.


Auto insurance policies can be supplemented with medical payments coverage (MedPay) for added protection in an accident. MedPay protects you and your passengers in the event of an accident, as well as any pedestrians you may damage, and you if you are wounded while riding as a passenger in another vehicle or when using a bicycle or public transportation and are hit by a car. Medical reimbursement plans, or MedPay, supplement primary medical insurance.

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