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Solving the Mystery: The Difference Between Medical Payments Coverage & Health Insurance

2018 07 13 Blog Doctor Making Notes With Stethoscope In Focus On Clipboard

By Madeline Klein on September 20, 2018 in Insurance Basics

Raise your hand if you’re confused about the difference between Medical Payments coverage (sometimes referred to as MedPay insurance) and what your health insurance covers. Is your hand in the air? Don’t worry; you’re not alone.

Medical Payments coverage can be a bit puzzling to understand when you throw health insurance into the equation too. We’ve saved you some time by debunking the mystery between medical payments and health insurance.

What Medical Payments covers

Let’s cover the basics here. Medical Payments coverage will help cover both you and your passengers’ medical bills that resulted from a car accident. It doesn’t matter whose fault the accident was for this coverage. Also, important to understand is that Medical Payments moves with you, and keeps you covered whether you’re taking public transportation, walking, or riding shotgun with a friend. If you have Medical Payments, it will pretty much keep you covered no matter where you go.

Medical Payments will cover medical, dental, and even funeral expenses if needed, up to the limits purchased. Some example costs covered include:

  • Ambulance fees
  • X-rays
  • Hospital stays
  • Nursing care

Medical Payments Coverage vs. health insurance

Now that we are on the same page about what medical payments covers, it’s time to look at what role health insurance can play with this coverage. Here are some tips on if you should get Medical Payments coverage based on your health insurance status.

If you don’t have health insurance

If you don’t have any health insurance, like 12.2% of other adult Americans, we highly suggest adding Medical Payments coverage to your policy. This will help keep you covered if you get into an accident or hurt by a car. We don’t know about you, but we believe some coverage is always better than none.

If you do have health insurance

If you do have health insurance and are unsure if you need Medical Payments coverage, then we suggest looking into exactly what your health insurance covers. The biggest thing to check is if your health insurance will keep you protected if you are in a car accident. Many health plans don’t, which would point to a need for Medical Payments.

Another thing to check if you do have health insurance is your limits. If your limits are lower, you can have your health plan work alongside Medical Payments coverage. Once you’ve reached your health plan limits, your Medical Payments can step in to help pay your medical bills.

Even if you feel like your health insurance is pretty comprehensive, Medical Payments can still be used in that same manner. It can be secondary insurance just to give you more peace of mind if you do happen to get into an accident.

Lastly, you may want to look into your co-pays for your health insurance. If they seem to be on the higher end of the spectrum, Medical Payments coverage may be worth it to help ease that burden. The coverage will reimburse you for those high co-pays. It can also help cover some items your health plan may not include.

If you have medicare or medicaid

If you have Medicare or Medicaid and are unsure about Medical Payments coverage, you’ll want to explore your Medicare or Medicaid coverage to ensure any car accident expenses would be covered.

How to know if I should get medical payments

So, let’s recap. If you don’t have health insurance, you’ll definitely want to look into Medical Payments coverage to help with any medical expenses from an accident. If you do have health insurance, look into your limits, check if your health insurance covers car accidents, and see how medical payments could play a role as secondary insurance for extra coverage.

With a little bit of digging into your health insurance and with a review of your car insurance coverage, you should be able to make an informed decision about whether Medical Payments is worth it. There’s nothing quite like that peace of mind when you know an accident won’t break the bank for you.

Madeline Klein is Say's Digital Content Producer. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism, emphasis in Strategic Communication. Her experience is in writing and digital media. Madeline loves using her creativity to write and design new and exciting pieces of work for Say!