What is the Difference Between Med-Pay and PIP Coverage?

Choosing the right kind of insurance coverage can be a puzzling task. While not required in California, both PIP and Med-Pay can be purchased as a supplement to regular auto insurance. They may look similar on the surface, but there are a few key differences between the two.

How do PIP and Med-Pay work?

Regardless of who was at fault, both Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments (Med-Pay) insurance cover the cost of necessary medical services needed to treat injuries sustained from a car or motorcycle accident. The cost is of PIP coverage is slightly higher, but it covers more than Med-Pay in the event of an accident.

Personal injury payments coverage can vary, but usually includes:
  • Medical expenses such as ambulance costs, doctors and other healthcare providers, hospitalization, nursing care, medication, and medical supplies. In addition, it may cover psychiatric care, laboratory tests, imaging services, physical therapy, prostheses, dental care, ophthalmic treatment and chiropractic services.
  • Lost income Some or a percentage of lost wages due to your injuries. For the self-employed, PIP may also cover the cost of temporary employees.
  • Child care and household expenses If you are unable to care for children, other dependents, or perform household tasks, PIP may pay for these services.
  • Funeral costs, including burial and cremation.
  • Survivors’ Loss Benefits PIP may cover a deceased wage earner ‘s income for surviving dependents.
What Is Medical Payments Coverage (Med-Pay)

Med-Pay is designed to complement standard liability coverage, and some drivers also use it to supplement their PIP policies. It is similar to PIP, but less comprehensive. It covers medical expenses for the insured, passengers and other drivers listed on the policy.

It’s important to take a close look at your health insurance policy before purchasing Med-Pay. It may not be necessary if your healthcare coverage is extensive. While its coverage is limited, Med-Pay has few advantages that make it worth considering:

  • Regardless of fault, it pays medical costs quickly. Without Med-Pay, you may have struggle to get your losses covered.
  • Med-Pay has no deductible or co-pay.
  • It covers expenses whether you are riding as a passenger in a vehicle, taking public transportation, or if you’re injured by a driver while walking or cycling.

One disadvantage of Med-Pay is that it has a subrogation clause, which requires reimbursement if you collect a settlement from a third party such as the driver’s insurance company. PIP has no payback provision.

Neither PIP nor Med-Pay cover pain and suffering, but you can sue the other driver for these and other losses. Consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether it would be worthwhile to pursue legal action. In our ever-changing, fast-paced world, peace of mind can be hard to come by. Supplementing your auto insurance with PIP or Med-Pay can help you rest easy, knowing that in the event of an accident, many of your expenses will be covered. If you have any questions about your coverage or would like suggestions for making changes to your insurance policy, contact The May Firm today for a free evaluation.

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