Medical Payments Car Insurance Coverage

Medical payments coverage (MedPay) pays for medical bills for you and your passengers after an accident-related injury.

Christy Rakoczy
Written byChristy Rakoczy
Christy Rakoczy
Christy Rakoczy

Christy Rakoczy has been a personal finance and insurance writer for over a decade. Her work has been published on USA Today, MSN, Yahoo Finance, Credit Karma, Forbes Advisor, and more. Christy has a JD from UCLA School of Law and previously worked as a data analyst for Blue Cross and as a paralegal studies instructor before transitioning to writing full time.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo

Updated March 28, 2024

Why you can trust Insurify: Comparing accurate insurance quotes should never put you at risk of spam. We earn an agent commission only if you buy a policy based on our quotes. Our editorial team follows a rigorous set of editorial standards and operates independently from our insurance partners. Learn more.

Medical payments coverage, or MedPay, is a type of auto insurance coverage. It’s optional in most states that offer it. It pays for your medical bills or funeral costs if you’re in a car accident, either as a driver or a passenger. This coverage extends to your passengers as well.[1]

MedPay covers you regardless of who caused the accident. Unlike health insurance, medical payments coverage doesn’t have any deductibles or copays; it covers all your costs up to a certain limit for injuries related to the accident.

Learn more here about how MedPay works, if it’s right for you, and how to find affordable car insurance for your needs.

Find Cheap Car Insurance

Check quotes from 100+ top insurance companies

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

What does MedPay cover?

MedPay covers medical expenses in the immediate aftermath of an accident. It pays for healthcare costs related to injuries you experience in a crash, up to the policy limits. Typically, this type of coverage pays for care for you and any passengers in your vehicle who incur an injury in an accident, regardless of who caused the crash. It even applies when you’re a passenger in someone else’s car at the time of the incident.

Your medical payments coverage can pay for expenses related to the following:

  • Doctor appointments and office visits

  • Emergency room stays

  • Hospital admission or out-patient services

  • Ambulance or EMT fees

  • Nursing care

  • Diagnostic procedures, such as X-rays, CT scans, and other imaging

  • Medical procedures, including surgery

  • Funeral expenses

If you have health insurance, MedPay will cover copays and co-insurance costs that you would otherwise be responsible for.

What doesn’t MedPay cover?

MedPay doesn’t cover all of your accident-related expenses or the damages you cause others. Here are some examples of car accident losses this policy doesn’t pay for:

  • Injuries you cause to other drivers and their passengers in an at-fault accident (your bodily injury liability insurance would pay for those losses)

  • Lost wages you experience as a result of your injuries

  • Compensation for pain and suffering you experience as a result of your injuries

  • Losses in excess of policy limits (medical bills above your coverage amount)

Difference between MedPay and personal injury protection

MedPay and personal injury protection (PIP) are both types of auto insurance that pay for medical bills. PIP coverage provides more protection, and more states require drivers to purchase it.

PIP coverage pays for medical bills or funeral costs up to your coverage limits for you, eligible family members, or passengers in your vehicle, regardless of who caused the accident. It also covers partial lost wages if your accident-related injuries stop you from working, which MedPay doesn’t offer.

MedPay doesn’t typically affect your ability to make a claim against another driver who injured you, but PIP can.

States with medical payments coverage

Very few states require MedPay, so you can usually decide if you need the coverage on your auto insurance policy and how much to purchase.

The following states require MedPay:

  • Maine

  • New Hampshire

  • Pennsylvania (if you opt out of PIP)

These states don’t offer MedPay:

  • Minnesota

  • New York

  • North Dakota

  • Oregon

In all other states, MedPay is an optional coverage.

States with PIP coverage

States with mandatory PIP coverage, called no-fault states, require you to rely on PIP coverage to pay for your injuries even if another driver caused the accident. In a few “choice” no-fault states, you have the option to opt out of this coverage and recover your ability to make a claim against at-fault drivers.[2]

The following states require PIP coverage:

  • Arkansas

  • Delaware

  • Florida

  • Hawaii

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky (choice no-fault)

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Michigan

  • Minnesota

  • New Jersey (choice no-fault)

  • New York

  • North Dakota

  • Oregon

  • Pennsylvania (choice no-fault)

  • Texas

  • Utah

PIP coverage is optional in the following places:

  • New Hampshire

  • South Dakota

  • Virginia

  • Washington

  • Washington, D.C.

  • Wisconsin

Shop for Car Insurance

Insurify partners with 100+ top insurers for quotes

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

How to decide how much medical coverage you need

Most insurance companies allow you to set your coverage limits for MedPay between $1,000 and $10,000, but specifics can vary by insurer.

If you live in a state that requires MedPay, make sure you buy at least the amount of protection required by law. For example, Maine requires a minimum of $2,000 in MedPay coverage.[3]

If your state doesn’t require MedPay but you want to purchase this coverage as part of your auto insurance policy anyway, consider buying enough coverage to pay for your health insurance deductible or an equal amount to the maximum out-of-pocket costs set by your health insurer.

Maximum out-of-pocket costs are the most you’d have to pay for all in-network and out-of-network care during the year.[4] Your deductible is the amount you must pay for each covered service before insurance kicks in. If you want to avoid paying for care costs related to your accident, you should buy coverage equal to your out-of-pocket limits.

For Example

If you purchase health insurance on the HealthCare.gov marketplace, the maximum out-of-pocket limit for a plan can’t exceed $9,450 for a single person or $18,900 for a family plan. A single person who buys $10,000 in MedPay coverage would have sufficient funds to pay that full amount of $9,450 in total health costs, regardless of the covered services received.

Medical payments coverage FAQs

Still have questions about medical payments coverage? Here’s what you should know to help you decide if adding this coverage to your policy is a smart choice.

  • What’s the difference between bodily injury and medical payments coverage?

    Bodily injury liability coverage pays for losses you cause to others in an at-fault car accident. It doesn’t pay for your own medical expenses for accident-related injuries. Medical payments coverage pays for your necessary medical care after an accident, no matter who caused the crash. It doesn’t pay for the harm you cause to others.

  • Is medical payments insurance worth it?

    Medical payment insurance pays for healthcare costs after an accident. It can cover things like a health insurance deductible and copays. If you can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket costs of medical care after a car accident, you may want to buy medical payments insurance.

  • What is medical payments coverage?

    Medical payments insurance is an optional add-on to auto insurance coverage in most states. It covers you, your insured family members, and passengers in your car in case of an accident. No matter who’s at fault, it’ll pay for your medical bills resulting from the crash, up to policy limits.

  • How do you file your medical bills after an accident?

    You can file with your own auto insurer to pay your medical bills after an accident only if you have medical payments or PIP coverage. In most states, if someone else caused the crash, you can make a claim with their insurer, and their bodily injury liability policy should cover your costs.

    Like with any insurance claim, you must let your insurer know about the accident and the damages you’ve suffered. Each insurer has its own process for claims. Often, you’ll need to call the phone number on the back of your insurance card or initiate a claim using your insurer’s app or website.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Auto insurance basics—understanding your coverage."
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "Automobile Financial Responsibility Laws By State."
  3. State of Maine Bureau of Insurance. "Insurance Required by Law."
  4. HealthCare.gov. "Out-of-pocket maximum/limit."
Christy Rakoczy
Christy Rakoczy

Christy Rakoczy has been a personal finance and insurance writer for over a decade. Her work has been published on USA Today, MSN, Yahoo Finance, Credit Karma, Forbes Advisor, and more. Christy has a JD from UCLA School of Law and previously worked as a data analyst for Blue Cross and as a paralegal studies instructor before transitioning to writing full time.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo

Compare Car Insurance Quotes Instantly

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Latest Articles

View all