Do You Need Medical Payments Coverage if You Already Have Health Insurance?

Last Updated on June 19, 2020

There is a common misconception that it is unnecessary to add medical payments coverage to a car insurance policy if health insurance is already in place.  Even if you already have health insurance, you should still give medical payments coverage serious consideration. Here’s why.

About Medical Payments Coverage

medical payments coverageMedical payments coverage is designed to cover the cost of medical expenses related to auto accidents regardless of which driver was at fault for the accident.  This coverage is applicable to you (the driver) as well as the passengers (including family members) in the vehicle at the time of the accident. The only caveat is the vehicle must be insured.

Though medical payments coverage is optional, the law requires auto insurance providers to offer it.  This type of coverage is typically offered by the insurer in thousand-dollar increments. Common medical payments coverage amounts range from $1,000 to $2,000, $5,000 and possibly upwards of $10,000.  In some cases, it is possible to stack the coverage on several vehicles under a single policy. This way, if several vehicles are insured with medical payments coverage on each, the coverage can be stacked to provide a comparably high limit for medical expenses in the event of a nasty accident.

Why Medical Payments Coverage is Worth the Money

Even those who have health insurance should consider medical payments coverage.  Too many people simply assume this coverage is unnecessary as they have health insurance through an employer or a private health plan.  However, drivers should know Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is not fully covered through medical payments coverage. There is a 20 percent co-pay PIP does not cover.

Medical payments coverage accounts for all related medical bills in full after PIP has been exhausted.  If you were to perish in an accident, complete funeral benefits would be provided through medical payments coverage yet PIP provides no such coverage.  If anyone is in the vehicle at the time of the accident, they can obtain coverage through medical payments coverage yet they are ineligible for PIP.

Medical Payments Coverage is Easy, Affordable and Efficient

Think about how nice it would be to avoid filling out those annoying claim forms required by health policies and other insurers.  Why bother filling out all the forms, submitting them in hopes of payment, and waiting an extended period of time for an explanation of benefits to arrive from the health insurance provider?  The ordeal won’t end there. You will also have to handle the reasonable and customary limitations inherent to the health policy. The bottom line is if medical payments coverage is on your automobile insurance policy along with PIP, related medical bills will be paid in accordance with policy limits.  There is absolutely no need to complicate the matter by involving a health insurance policy.

Don’t try to Save a bit of Money by Dropping Medical Payments Coverage

If you have health insurance, you are likely tempted to drop your medical payments coverage to save some money.  Consider whether your health insurance plan has potential expenses such as co-insurance, co-pays, or deductibles you have to pay.  If the health plan is provided through an employer, consider the potential for a new opportunity to arise in the near future or down the road.  You might not stay with your employer forever so medical payments coverage could come in handy should you segue to a new position and lack health insurance for a brief or extended period of time.

Take a moment to review your current health insurance plan. Does your health insurance cover the cost of chiropractic treatment? Health insurance covers less with each passing year. Even though you might pay through the nose for healthcare, your coverage might not prove applicable to all of the injuries and required care following a car accident.  Furthermore, co-pays and deductibles keep on increasing with each passing year. The bottom line is plenty of those who have full health insurance find value in medical payments coverage. This coverage will likely pay for the cost of medical costs health insurance does not cover in full or at all.  Do not lose sight of the fact that auto accidents are the most common way to endure a serious injury.

Medical Payments Coverage “Follows” You Beyond Your Vehicle

Medical payments coverage “follows” customers, meaning insured parties who are riding in another vehicle driven by a person without this form of insurance will still be covered.  Even if the driver of the vehicle has medical payments coverage, it still helps to have your own as it provides extra coverage should the resulting medical expenses be higher than the designated limit.  Furthermore, if you are ever walking and struck by a motorist, this coverage will still prove applicable even though you were a pedestrian as opposed to a driver.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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