After a car accident, you should check your automobile insurance policy to determine if you purchased medical payments coverage or “med pay.” Medical payments coverage is a primary coverage which means it pays first towards your medical bills and then secondary insurance e.g. health insurance or Medicare will be triggered after medical payments coverage is exhausted. It is important, however, to provide your health insurance information to all medical providers and ask them to bill your health insurance if you are involved in an accident. Health insurance has negotiated rates with all of your medical providers and, therefore, will pay less than your medical payments coverage. It is not uncommon to see medical providers try to avoid billing health insurance and only bill automobile insurance so that they are paid the full amount of their bills rather than the discount negotiated by your health insurance company. Ideally, you should try to use your medical payments coverage for your co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles. However, your medical insurance company may require that medical payments coverage be exhausted prior to paying any medical bills related to your accident.
Medical coverage can be purchased with most standard automobile insurance plans and covers medical bills without having to take into account who was at-fault. Med pay also covers medical expenses which carry over that are not covered by your typical health insurance plan. Whether you have or do not have health insurance, this is a good insurance to have in case of a car accident where the cost of treatment may be very expensive, and you may incur out of pocket expenses such as co-pays. However, do not assume med pay is a replacement for health insurance.
Med pay may cover:
• EMT and ambulance costs
• Hospital visits
• Doctor visits
• Nursing care
• Dental procedures
• Injuries from vehicle that hit you while walking on streets/sidewalks or on a bicycle
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