Coverage of medical payments (MedPay): definition, how it works

  • MedPay will cover your medical expenses as a driver, passenger or pedestrian in the event of injury in a car accident.
  • It will also cover passengers traveling in your car.
  • The policy limits are low, but it can be an affordable addition to your health insurance or PIP coverage.

People injured in a car accident are generally responsible for their own medical expenses, even if the accident was the fault of another driver. In these cases, the injured person’s health insurance or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will usually pay for the expenses.

However, if your PIP or health insurance coverage is insufficient, Medical Payments Coverage (also known as MedPay) can help cover the additional costs.

What is medical expense coverage?

Medical expense coverage is optional insurance that reimburses you for medical and funeral expenses related to road accidents, regardless of who is responsible.

MedPay protects you and your passengers in the following scenarios:

  • If you or your passengers are injured in your vehicle
  • If you are injured while riding in someone else’s vehicle
  • If you are a pedestrian and you are injured by another vehicle
  • If you are injured by a vehicle while riding a bicycle or using public transport

MedPay complements your health insurance coverage. Since MedPay limits are low, your health insurance will pay for most expenses and MedPay will kick in when you reach your health insurance limits.

Medical Payment Coverage vs. Injury Protection

No-fault states require drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP). No-fault insurance covers up to a specific limit for accident-related medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault.

In other states, at-fault drivers are responsible for injuries to a victim that occur in a collision. You have the option of filing a complaint against the culprit. However, it can take a long time to prove fault and get your injuries reimbursed.

Suppose you have no health insurance and you maximize your PIP coverage. In that case, you can use MedPay to fill the void, according to Jason Turchin, personal injury and accident attorney at Law Firms of Jason Turchin in Florida. Here are some of the key differences between MedPay coverage and PIP:

Personal injury liability insurance covers the medical expenses of passengers in another car in which you are at fault.

What does medical expense coverage include?

Your MedPay insurance will accompany you wherever you go, whether you are a pedestrian, driver or passenger. You are also covered outside the United States. Here are several of the expenses that MedPay will cover:

  • Medical services: MedPay will cover hospital or doctor visits, EMT and ambulance costs, nursing and any other medical services related to the accident.
  • Health insurance co-payment or deductibles: If your health insurance deductibles or copayments are high, consider getting MedPay. It will cover the rest of the copayments or deductibles if you have to use your health insurance.
  • Treatments: MedPay will cover everything from dental procedures to prosthetic limbs, surgeries and medications related to injuries caused by the accident.
  • Funeral expenses: If someone dies in an accident, MedPay will cover funeral expenses.

What does MedPay not cover?

MedPay will cover you in many cases of car accidents, wherever you are. But there are several cases where medical expense coverage is not applicable. These include:

  • If you exceed your coverage limits: If you max out your health insurance, PIP, and MedPay coverage, you’ll have to pay the rest out of pocket.
  • Wage loss: MedPay will not cover loss of earnings if you are out of work due to an accident.
  • Other drivers: MedPay does not cover injuries you cause to other drivers and their passengers.
  • Injuries not related to car accidents: MedPay will only cover injuries related to the accident, not other medical conditions that previously existed.
  • Childcare costs: If you are away from home and unable to care for your child, MedPay will not cover child care costs.

Do I need medical coverage?

Only two states require MedPay coverage: Maine and New Hampshire. Twelve states require PIP. MedPay and PIP are optional for the rest, depending on

“Medical payment coverage may not be necessary if you have health insurance, as it usually covers the balance after the PIP,” says Turchin. However, MedPay guarantees that 100% of your medical treatment is covered, which means you receive treatment quickly, even if you are at fault in an accident, notes Turchin.

Although not required, you may still consider MedPay under certain circumstances. For example, if your deductibles and co-pay for your health insurance are high, it may be worth having MedPay. It might also be a good idea to purchase MedPay coverage if you frequently use your vehicle to transport non-family. For example, if you drive for a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft, it might be a good idea to have MedPay coverage.

How much medical coverage do I need?

MedPay has lower limits because it acts as top-up coverage for your health insurance or PIP. Limits can be as low as $2,500 or as high as $10,000, according to

Medpay can cost as little as $2 per month, while PIP typically starts at $50 per month, according to To assure.

The amount of MedPay coverage you need to purchase will depend on how much you already have in health insurance or PIP. You may only need a few thousand dollars in MedPay coverage if you have low health insurance deductibles and copays. If you have high deductibles and copayments, consider having more MedPay coverage.

MedPay may not be necessary for drivers with sufficient health insurance or PIP coverage. But remember, in many states an at-fault driver is not responsible for your medical bills. Having MedPay can give you peace of mind that your expenses are fully covered in the event of an accident.


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