Medical payments coverage, also called MedPay, is a type of motor vehicle insurance available in Georgia. MedPay works similarly to health insurance but only applies after a car accident.
Georgia law does not require you to purchase this optional coverage as part of your automobile insurance policy. If you get hurt in a car accident, however, you could find this coverage to be immensely valuable.
MedPay coverage can be useful in situations like these:
- The person who caused the crash was uninsured (in other words, did not carry valid or current automobile liability insurance that would have paid for your medical expenses).
- The insurance company of the at-fault driver is disputing the driver’s liability or for some other reason is not paying your medical expenses promptly.
- Your health insurance agrees to pay some of your medical expenses from the wreck, and the MedPay coverage can help with the co-pays, coinsurance, and deductible.
If you were at fault in the accident, MedPay coverage can help to pay your medical bills, since MedPay usually provides coverage regardless of fault.
Your MedPay Benefits Can Vary
An insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. In general, the insurer only has to provide the benefits stated in the policy. We will have to review your automobile insurance policy before we can say definitively how your MedPay coverage will work.
Your insurance company can deny coverage under MedPay if it deems that your medical treatments were unreasonable or unnecessary. Georgia law requires that the insurance company reimburse you for reasonable and necessary medical and funeral expenses caused by a motor vehicle accident.
Who MedPay Covers
A MedPay policy does not provide any benefits to people in other vehicles. MedPay coverage generally provides help with the medical bills of the policyholder, passengers in the covered car, and someone who drives the vehicle with the permission of the owner.
By way of example, you carry MedPay coverage on your automobile policy. You are driving to work, carpooling with two coworkers. The driver of another vehicle runs a red light and T-bones your car, injuring you and your passengers. Your MedPay coverage can help pay the medical bills for you and your passengers, but it will not cover the driver of the other vehicle.
MedPay Coverage Outside of a Vehicle
An interesting aspect of the coverage your MedPay policy can provide is that you do not necessarily have to be in a vehicle to receive MedPay benefits. Let's say that you carry MedPay coverage on your car. If a car, truck, or another motor vehicle hit you while you were walking or riding a bike, the MedPay coverage of your automobile insurance policy can kick in and cover some of your medical bills, up to the limits of your policy's coverage.
MedPay Only Reimburses Expenses
MedPay coverage is usually reimbursement only. This means that if you have $5,000 MedPay coverage on your automobile insurance policy, and your out-of-pocket medical expenses were only $3,500, your MedPay will reimburse you for the $3,500 that you paid, and not the full $5,000 of the policy limits.
If some other source of insurance or funding paid your medical bills, your MedPay coverage will not pay you benefits. Also, if you have unpaid medical bills, your MedPay insurer is likely to send a check directly to the healthcare provider instead of to you.
MedPay Benefits in the Event of a Fatal Accident
If a person who is eligible for MedPay benefits under your auto insurance policy dies from the injuries sustained in the car accident, your MedPay coverage can cover some of the funeral expenses for that person, up to the limits of the MedPay coverage. Depending on the specific terms of your policy, however, the policy limits, might not be sufficient to pay all of the medical bills and funeral expenses of the people your policy covers.
Time Limit for Medical Bills and Funeral Expenses
The Georgia statute that defines medical payments coverage states that the expenses must be for services received within three years of the wreck. The statute does, however, allow an insurance company to specify a longer time period.
We understand how confusing insurance and coverage issues can be. Also, since insurance coverage is a contract, the terms of your policy might be different than the general coverage discussed in this article.
Call S. Burke Law Today for Help
You do not have to become an expert on insurance or accident law to navigate through MedPay coverage for your car accident. We will be happy to review your automobile insurance policy with you and explain your legal rights. Our car accident lawyer can also help you file a claim against the other driver if they contributed to your accident. Just remember there is a time limit to file a lawsuit.
Give us a call at 404-842-7838 today, and we will set up your free consultation at S. Burke Law. There is no obligation.