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Med Pay is optional auto insurance coverage that pays for your medical bills if you get into a car wreck. It doesn't matter whether you caused the wreck or another driver did - Med Pay will cover you. Med Pay is different than typical health insurance because it doesn't come with the "red tape" - Med Pay doesn't involve things like deductibles and it doesn't restrict the network of doctors you're allowed to visit. Med Pay will cover your fees from any licensed doctor, ambulance, hospital, etc.
Med Pay's only coverage restrictions deal with how much coverage you buy. In my experience, I've seen policies range from $1,000 to upwards of $100,000.
If you're considering purchasing Med Pay, I want to warn you that some policies sneak in a condition that will force you to pay them back after you use them. If you're going to buy Med Pay, make sure you're getting a no-deductible, non-reimbursable policy.
Though the benefits sound pretty great, I don't recommend purchasing Med Pay. Read on to find out why.
When Your Attorney Handles Med Pay
When an attorney is handling Med Pay for a client, they can submit it anytime the client has bills. The benefit of having your attorney handle your Med Pay is because you might be able to keep some of the Med Pay proceeds (as opposed to an adjuster sending it directly to the doctor or hospital). However, not all attorneys handle their clients Med Pay for them. If you have questions about who's in charge of your Med Pay, talk to your attorney.
Med Pay vs. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Med-Pay coverage and PIP are both entirely optional in Texas. However, if you are considering adding Med Pay to your auto insurance policy, I would encourage you (as a Fort Worth injury attorney) to instead purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
Personal Injury Protection coverage and Med-Pay are very similar, but they are also very different in a number of crucial areas.
PIP will cover you for your accident-related medical expenses AND lost income due to your inability to work. Med-Pay, on the other hand, only covers the cost of your medical expenses. Since the cost of purchasing Med Pay and PIP is virtually identical, it makes sense to buy PIP instead.
The other important difference between PIP and Med Pay is that Med Pay creates a right of subrogation for your insurance provider, whereas PIP does not. Subrogation basically means that if you recover compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance policy, then your insurance provider can make you pay back the money that they already paid you from your Med Pay coverage.
If you're thinking of getting insurance and are considering buying Med Pay, don’t – get Personal Injury Protection instead. And while you’re at it, get Uninsured Motorist Coverage too.
Is Med Pay Worth It?
As I described above, Med Pay is a waste of money. I discourage my clients from purchasing it and recommend they buy PIP instead. Med Pay is similar to PIP in that it is a "no-fault" type of insurance that you can purchase on your own. However, Med Pay only covers medical bills - it doesn't reimburse you for your lost wages like PIP does.
The worst part about of Med Pay is that if you ultimately recover money from a third party in an injury claim, you must pay the Med Pay carrier back. That means if you're hit by another car and you file an injury claim against the other driver, any money you're awarded will be taken away from you by your own insurance company. Your insurance company is basically only loaning you the money to pay your medical bills until your case settles.