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Medical Payments Coverage (“Med Pay”): What Is It, and Why Do I Need It?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2020 | Ohio Law Series

What is Med Pay Coverage?

Medical payments coverage (“Med Pay”) is a type of automobile insurance coverage that covers medical expenses for injuries resulting from an auto accident. It does not cover loss of income or pain and suffering. It is considered “no fault” coverage, so it applies (pays out) regardless of who was at fault for the accident. It often will cover your medical expenses when you’re occupying someone else’s vehicle at the time of an accident.

Why Do I Need It?

While the at-fault party (or his/her insurance company) is ultimately responsible for your accident-related medical expenses, your bills will not be paid until the case is settled (which may be months or years after the injury). Therefore, you are at least initially responsible for medical expenses, even if the accident is not your fault. Med Pay coverage is a great resource to help you pay expenses when they first come in, because you should not simply let those bills go unpaid, if you can avoid it.

Do I Have to Repay the Insurance Company for Med Pay Benefits?

Maybe. If you receive a settlement from or a judgment against the at-fault party, the health insurance company will expect to reimbursed. This is called “subrogation.” (Subrogation is another word for reimbursement.)

How Much Med Pay Coverage Should I Purchase?

Med Pay is relatively inexpensive coverage, and it is especially handy for covering small bills incurred after an accident, deductibles, etc. Many policies offer $5,000 in Med Pay coverage, but that doesn’t go very far these days. If you can reasonably afford $10,000 or more, opt for that.

As is the case with uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage, some states require that you buy Med Pay (or something similar). Ohio isn’t one of them. Here’s what your automobile insurance policy declarations page might look like if you have Med Pay: