If you take a close look at car insurance options in California, you will see that there is an additional policy that you can add to your coverage called Medical Payments Coverage, or “Med Pay” for short. This policy is not required, but can be enormously helpful in times of need. In other states where this type of coverage is required, like in Florida, the coverage is known as Personal Injury Protection, or PIP.

One of the biggest benefits of a Med Pay policy is that it is what is known as a “no fault” insurance policy, meaning that you are able to use it no matter who caused the accident that you are filing for. While this coverage does not pay out nearly as much as a personal injury lawsuit would if you were to be seriously injured in an accident that someone else caused, it can be a really helpful way to keep yourself from going into debt after a minor injury in a crash. In instance where you are in a major accident that someone else caused, you can use your Med Pay coverage for up-front costs, while building a bigger lawsuit with a personal injury attorney.

What Does Med Pay Actually Cover?

Coverage 1024x683 - What is Med Pay Coverage?

If you are considered whether or not to pay extra for this policy, it is probably a good idea that you get an idea of what you are actually paying for, right? Most importantly, Med Pay Coverage pays for your medical bills and expenses that go beyond your existing medical insurance coverage (up to your policy limit). For instance, if you have health care coverage in California and you are involved in an accident, your health insurance will cover up to a certain point, depending on your policy.

Perhaps your insurance doesn’t cover co-payments, prescriptions, wheelchairs, or other things that you need to pay for after your accident – in this case, your Med Pay will cover these additional payments. The policy covers things like ambulance trips, hospital visits and stays, x-rays and MRIs, and even funeral costs if necessary.

Do I Need Med Pay If I Have Health Insurance?

As you can see above, Med Pay will overlap with your health insurance, which means that with both, you have a better chance of having all of your medical costs covered. It’s important that you understand your health insurance plan before deciding whether or not to opt for Med Pay.

Keep in mind that your Med Pay coverage is limited to the amount you opt for when you are signing up for the policy, so make sure that you understand your repayment limit, as well as the stipulations for what is actually covered. While having peace of mind about minor expenses is really helpful, it is equally important that you do not view your Med Pay as an all-in-one solution.

Will a Med Pay Claim Raise My Insurance Rates?

Some people may wrongly believe that a no-fault policy means that there is no impact on their rates no matter the cause, but this is not the case. If you were in an accident that you caused, then your insurance rates will go up. However, if you were in an accident that was not your fault, you can use your Med Pay, as well as any other pieces of your insurance that you are able to, without having your rates impacted at all. Rate increases are only for instances when the insured driver operates dangerously or causes an accident.