Gary Bell Jr. and Brad Pollock
Medical Payments Coverage or “Med Pay” is optional coverage through your auto insurance that will pay for your medical bills if you’re injured in an auto accident regardless of fault. If you haven’t expressly waived Med Pay in writing, it’s presumed you have $5,000 in minimum coverage. You can find the amount of your Medical Payments Coverage on the “declaration page” of your auto insurance policy and purchase a higher amount of Med Pay by talking with your insurance agent.
Med Pay extends to your passengers and family members that live with you. Your Med Pay will also provide coverage if you, or a resident relative, is struck by an automobile as a pedestrian under most policies. Med Pay covers the cost of the ambulance and emergency responders as first priority, then care you receive in an emergency room, and finally any other accident related care you receive until your coverage has been exhausted.
Do you need Med Pay if you already have health insurance? The answer is probably yes. Most health insurance policies require a co-pay or deductible leaving you to pay out of pocket. Even if the accident is the fault of someone else, their insurance will not pay for your injuries until your treatment is complete and you have agreed to settle your claim. This can leave you owing on bills in the meantime and send your account into collections if you’re unable to meet the out-of-pocket co-pays. Insurance companies know that having outstanding bills can be very stressful and use it as leverage to pressure you into settling your claim for less than what it’s worth.
The cost of care paid by your Med Pay is a damage that an at-fault driver is liable for, but unlike health insurance, Med Pay does not need to be paid back after you resolve your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Often injured people refuse transport in an ambulance because they are afraid of the cost, leaving serious problems to go undetected, worsening their injuries. Medical Payments Coverage is protection against that fear. You should not waive your Med Pay. Instead, if at all possible you should increase your coverage above the automatic $5,000 in coverage.
If you have an accident in which someone is injured, you should contact an auto accident attorney in Colorado like Bell & Pollock, by calling (303) 795-5900 or emailing us via the contact form on this page.