After you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident, your health should be your first priority. Once your condition has been stabilized, and you are recovering from your injuries, you can then move your focus to other areas, such as how you’re going to pay the medical bills for the treatment you’ve received.
In most cases, some form of insurance will pay the medical bills. An important type of coverage to invest in that is also one of the most overlooked is called medical payment coverage.
What is Medical Payment Coverage?
Medical payment coverage (also called “med-pay”) provides coverage for all reasonable medical expenses that you or your passengers incur when you’re involved in an auto accident. Since 2009, all Colorado insurance companies must offer their customers a $5,000 medical payments policy. If you want to opt out of this coverage, you must sign a form stating that you are choosing not to have that coverage. As we’ll discuss in this article, opting out of medical payments insurance can be a costly mistake.
In Colorado, the cost of med-pay coverage averages around $5 a month for $5,000 of coverage. Of course, if you would like to purchase a greater level of coverage, you can at an additional cost. In addition, there is no deductible that needs to be paid before you can utilize this coverage, and med-pay insurance is not required to be paid back out of any settlement you receive. So you can see that med-pay is a great idea all around.
What Med-Pay Covers
Med-pay will cover any “reasonable” medical expenses, up to the coverage amount you’ve purchased. What is considered reasonable?
Generally speaking, med-pay will cover:
- Emergency transport to a hospital emergency room
- Emergency room services
- Radiology services such as X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, etc.
- Hospital stay bills
- Doctor visit bills when they are related to the accident injuries
- Pharmacy bills for prescription or over-the-counter medications related to the accident injuries
- Chiropractic doctor visit bills
- Physical therapy bills
Med-Pay and Auto Insurance Premiums
You may wonder if using your med-pay coverage will result in your auto insurance premiums going up. Luckily, this is not the case. It is against the law for an auto insurer to raise your insurance premiums for utilizing your med-pay coverage if you were not at fault for the accident that caused the injuries. If you were the negligent party, though, this dynamic ceases to exist, and your insurer can raise your premiums, or cancel your policy altogether.
If You Are Injured in Another Car
Med-pay will pay for medical bills regardless of who is at fault and will extend coverage even if you are injured while riding in someone else’s car.
Why You Need Med-Pay in Addition to Health Insurance
If you have health insurance coverage, that coverage can only be utilized if you pay the co-pays and deductibles on the policy first. If these costs are significant, it can be difficult to pay them out-of-pocket before you’re able to use your insurance benefits. With med-pay, you can immediately utilize your coverage to pay for these costs so that you can receive the treatment you need in a timely manner without having to worry about these out-of-pocket expenses.
Also, in a situation where you’re injured due to the negligence of an uninsured driver, you simply don’t have the option of making a claim against that driver’s insurer. In cases such as these, med-pay coverage will help offset the amount of money that your insurance company has to pay out for your medical bills.
All of this coverage for the relatively small cost involved means that you are risking very little. Med-pay is simply an intelligent choice.
No Payback Requirement for Med-Pay
As touched upon above, one the greatest benefits of having med-pay coverage is that, if you end up needing to use it, you do not have to pay it back to the insurance company after you’ve received your settlement. Most insurance payouts will require a payback after you receive a settlement, but this isn’t the case with med-pay. This essentially means more money in your pocket when you receive your settlement from the insurance company.
Contact Marathon Law Today
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, and have questions regarding how to best utilize your insurance, call us today for a free, confidential consultation. You can sit down with one of our attorneys and discuss your case, and we can give you the benefit of our years of experience in case evaluation, letting you know how strong a case we think you have. You can reach Marathon Law at 303-704-1222 or through our online contact page.