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With car insurance premiums rising, some people have cut corners by dropping medical payments coverage, commonly known as med pay, from their policies, especially if they have health insurance.

But is dropping med pay really a good idea?

The Benefits of Medical Payments Coverage

Med-pay is an optional addition to your car insurance policy that will pay accident-related medical bills, up to the coverage limit, for you and anyone traveling in your vehicle if a collision occurs, no matter who was at fault. Med pay must be purchased as part of an auto liability insurance policy, and to use it you must have been injured in an auto-related accident.

Med pay starts paying immediately, and covers some costs that your health insurance likely won’t, including ambulance fees, chiropractic and dental care, extended nursing services, prosthetics, and funeral expenses, if a fatal accident occurs. This coverage may be particularly beneficial for those who do not have health insurance or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents.

How Does Med Pay Work?

Med pay goes with you, regardless if you are driving, walking, cycling, riding with a friend, or traveling on public transportation, in or out of state. It provides coverage for all your insured vehicles, no matter who is driving, and pays first dollar on medical bills, since no deductible or co-pay is applied.

Unlike liability automobile coverage, med pay policy limits do not refer to the total available coverage; rather, each covered individual is allowed to collect up to the limit amount on the coverage.

Can You Afford Not to Have Med Pay?

Even if you were involved in an accident caused by someone else and their insurance is obligated to pay your medical bills, it can take months for that to happen, and meanwhile, unless you pay them yourself, your bills will remain unpaid. If you choose to submit the claims to your health insurance carrier, you will be responsible for any deductibles and co-pays.

If you choose to drop med pay, your savings will likely be very minimal, often less than $20 for up to $10,000 in coverage, which could be used up in just one claim should you be injured in an accident. The money you stand to save by dropping medical payments coverage typically rarely outweighs the benefits of keeping it.

Contact Maureen May, partner at Fick & May Law Firm.

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