North Carolinians involved in car accidents have the option to receive MedPay through their car insurance policies. This is an optional coverage that many people choose to reject in order to save money each month. However, those who do not reject this add-on may quickly realize its benefits after being involved in a car accident.
What is MedPay, and how does it work?
MedPay is short for Medical Payments Coverage. This is a type of additional insurance coverage that helps you pay for your medical bills after a car accident. It is important to understand that MedPay is not the same as health insurance. It is simply an add-on to your car insurance policy that only covers a portion of your medical expenses if they are related to the injuries you suffered in a car accident.
MedPay protects the driver as well as the passengers who were involved in a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident. To access your MedPay benefits, you have to file a claim for them through your insurance company. It typically takes a couple weeks for the reimbursement to come through.
What if someone else was at fault for the accident?
It doesn’t matter who is to blame when it comes to MedPay. The claim still goes through your own policy because you pay for that coverage, so you can use it no matter what. Plus, it’s the fastest way to get some financial help with your medical bills. Remember: it can take a long time to settle a case with another person’s insurance; it can take even longer if the case goes to trial. MedPay gives you some immediate relief from the bills.
Can I use my MedPay for expenses like co-pays and deductibles?
Yes, you can. You can also use it to pay for non-covered medical expenses. MedPay should cover all “reasonable and necessary” medical expenses, including things like:
- Doctor office visits
- Emergency room visits
- Hospital stays
- Ambulance rides
- Deductibles and copays
- Diagnostic tests and labs (x-rays, CT scans, MRI, etc.)
- Dental costs
You can also use it for funeral and burial expenses, if your loved one’s injuries prove fatal.
What type of medical expenses are usually considered “necessary and reasonable” to insurance companies?
While it may seem like every medical expense should be necessary, that is not always the case with insurance companies. To determine if your medical expense was necessary and reasonable, you will need to submit a claim to your insurance company along with additional paperwork that shows your injuries and medical bills.
The insurance company will look over this information to see if a licensed physician completed your medical treatments and that your expenses closely match the prices of other people’s expenses. This will determine if the charges were reasonable for the area that you live in and the treatments you went through.
What does MedPay NOT cover?
MedPay may not cover your medical expenses if:
- You were in a car accident while driving someone’s vehicle without their consent.
- You were driving any type of vehicle that has less than four wheels (moped, motorcycle, motorized scooter, etc.).
- You were occupying a taxi or transporting other people to locations for money or goods.
- You were driving a vehicle while working and received workers’ compensation.
How much will MedPay cover?
It depends on your policy. Most policy options start at $1,000, but you can buy more – and you probably should. In 2020, CBS News analyzed the costs of Emergency Room care (for a “moderate” emergency) in every state, and the average cost in North Carolina was $1,589 per visit. But that cost did not include things like emergency surgery or meetings with multiple specialists, which means the costs associated with a car accident can be far greater.
This is why we recommend that you purchase as much MedPay coverage as you can afford – or at least as much as your healthcare deductibles are. It’s one less thing to worry about at a time where you’re likely to feel very uncertain about the future.
Will my premiums go up if I use my MedPay?
Generally speaking, no – you shouldn’t pay more for your car insurance in North Carolina if you use your MedPay after a crash. MedPay is no fault, and when there’s no fault, there shouldn’t be a price hike. But we recommend that you check your policy language just in case.
Will I have to pay my MedPay coverage back?
If there’s one silver lining to paying for extra insurance, it’s this: MedPay isn’t subject to subrogation. That means that you do not have to pay that money back if you collect a larger compensatory settlement or award from the at-fault driver.
Why you still want a Charlotte car accident attorney for help with your claim
The Charlotte car accident lawyers at Price, Petho & Associates have the knowledge, skills, and experience to handle any type of car accident case. We also know the tactics insurance companies use to low-ball or avoid paying for the expenses they promised. When you work with us on your car accident case, we handle the insurance companies for you – and that includes submitting your claim for MedPay reimbursement. Our team believes that insurance companies should fulfill their end of agreements, which is why we will do everything possible to reach the best outcome with them for you.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you should be giving your full attention to healing instead of staring at your insurance policy. A Charlotte car accident lawyer from Price, Petho & Associates can answer any questions or concerns that you may have. We know that car insurance policies can be frustrating and confusing, but you can rest assured knowing that our team deals with these companies every single day. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation today. You can also visit one of our offices in Charlotte, Rutherfordton, and Rockingham.
Attorney Doug Petho is the owner and founder of Price, Petho & Associates. His primary focus is the litigation of plaintiff’s personal injury suits, and he has successfully tried hundreds of cases to jury verdict involving car accidents, trucking accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, and work-related accidents. Contact his office in Charlotte today.