Demystifying Medical Payments “Med Pay” Coverage
Most people should carry some level of Med Pay, if for no other reason, to provide coverage for other passengers who may be riding in your insured vehicle when a collision occurs. People who consider themselves “self-insured” probably do not need this insurance. However, as you will see, the coverage is so inexpensive that most everyone will find it beneficial to purchase some level of Med Pay coverage.
Med Pay coverage is typically sold at the following levels in Georgia: $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, and $50,000. Med Pay coverage is used to pay for medical bills or funeral expenses an “insured” person incurs as a result of a collision. Georgia law states, “Medical payments coverage includes any coverage in which the insurer agrees to reimburse the insured and others for reasonable and necessary medical expenses and funeral expenses incurred as a result of bodily injury or death caused by a motor vehicle accident, without regard to the insured’s liability for the accident.” O.C.G.A. § 33-34-2(1).
If you are involved in a wreck while riding in a covered vehicle, regardless of whose fault the wreck was, you should receive coverage for reasonable and necessary medical expenses, up to the limits of the Med Pay coverage.
Who is an “Insured” Person for Purposes of Med Pay Coverage?
The Georgia Legislature has also defined this for us: “Coverage shall be available to the named insured, resident spouse, and any resident relative while occupying the covered vehicle, and to any other person legally occupying a covered motor vehicle.” O.C.G.A. § 33-34-2(1).
Note that an insured person must be occupying a covered vehicle in order for the coverage to apply. For example, if you buy Med Pay coverage for your 2013 Honda Accord, but you are injured while riding as a passenger in your friend’s 2012 Chevy Tahoe, your Med Pay coverage you bought for your 2013 Honda Accord will not be applicable. In that case, you should hope your friend has Med Pay coverage for his 2012 Chevy Tahoe which will cover you as a passenger.
Med Pay coverage is typically inexpensive to buy, in comparison to the benefit it provides. If you have a high personal health insurance deductible or, no personal health insurance coverage, Med Pay coverage is also useful. If you have a high health insurance deductible, you should definitely consider purchasing enough Med Pay coverage to satisfy your deductible in the event you incur significant medical bills following a car accident. If you have no personal health insurance coverage, you should consider purchasing a higher level of Med Pay coverage to protect yourself (and those riding in your vehicle) against medical expenses incurred as a result of a serious car accident.
Are There Any Limits to Med Pay Coverage?
Georgia law also states, “Expenses must be incurred for services rendered within three years from the date of the accident; provided, however, that nothing shall prevent an insurer from allowing a longer period of time.” O.C.G.A. § 33-34-2(1).
Therefore, the insurer can state in your actual insurance policy that the Med Pay coverage will cover any reasonable and necessary expenses, related to your collision, for medical treatment incurred within three years of the date of the collision. They can make this period longer, such as for four years, but cannot make it smaller, such as for only two years. Overall, Med Pay coverage is inexpensive coverage that can provide a great benefit to you if you rack up significant medical bills following a car accident.
Speak to our Specialized Macon Car Accident & Personal Injury Attorneys Today
If you are a victim of a car accident, the attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill can assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of auto accidents and will pursue all types of compensation including payment of your medical bills, compensation for your pain and suffering due to injury, payment of lost wages, and possible punitive damages. Schedule a consultation today by contacting us at (478) 217-2072 or completing a contact form.