In Missouri, medical payments coverage is commonly referred to by insurance companies as “med-pay.” Unlike liability insurance, med-pay is an optional coverage that can be added to your auto policy. Medical payments coverage is not fault based, meaning it provides insurance benefits regardless of who caused the collision. Medical payments coverage can range anywhere from $1,000.00 in coverage to over $10,000.00. If you elect to have this coverage, and you are careful not to let your healthcare provider submit bills to your motor vehicle insurance carrier, you may be able to personally obtain the full amount of your available med-pay coverage when you are injured in a crash- regardless of fault.
Do you need med-pay coverage?
The at fault party’s liability insurance carrier almost never pays your medical expenses as they are incurred. Rather, they will consider all of your medical damages at one time, as part of a full and final settlement. If your case does not settle, your medical damages will be included in a jury award. Most hospitals and clinics won’t wait months for their bills to be paid. Med-pay coverage can help you pay for uncovered medical expenses as they are incurred.
But, I have health insurance
Even if you have health insurance coverage, medical payments coverage is beneficial. Normally as an insured you have co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles to meet. Med-pay can assist with paying these. Also, regardless of whether you have health insurance, med-pay should still provide you with reimbursement of your incurred medical expenses, which you may use at your discretion.
Should I tell my healthcare provider I have Med-Pay coverage?
No, first give the healthcare provider your health insurance information and request that they submit your bills to your health insurance company. Never disclose your motor vehicle insurance information to your healthcare provider until AFTER you have informed and obtained the advice of your attorney. If you let your healthcare provider submit bills directly to your car insurance under your med-pay coverage it is likely they will just use the money to pay down the full amount billed instead of the discounted amount negotiated with your health insurance company. If this happens, you will likely get ZERO benefit from the med-pay coverage despite having paid valuable premiums.
I wasn’t at fault, therefore my insurance shouldn’t have to pay
Missouri law allows you to collect from both the at-fault party’s insurance carrier and under any medical payments provision to your policy, or from the policy of the vehicle you were a passenger in. If you have paid premiums for medical payments coverage; then you should receive the benefit of the elected coverage. The negligent driver and their insurance company is still responsible for the damages resulting from the collision and in no way will they receive a credit for any med-pay payments made to you.