Med Pay insurance is insurance that covers injuries suffered in your car during a car accident. It is a part of your auto insurance policy. Med Pay covers the reasonable medical expenses from the crash, regardless of who was at fault. It covers other people in your car. It also covers you when you are in a car that is not yours. Unlike medical insurance, Med Pay does not have a deductible or any co-pay requirements.
Car insurance companies in Colorado have to offer Med Pay insurance. You can opt out of it in your car insurance policy. Along with collision insurance and bodily injury insurance, it is an important piece of the auto insurance puzzle.
If you use Med Pay coverage after a crash, and the accident was not your fault, your insurance company cannot increase your Med Pay premium. You also do not have to reimburse your insurance company for Med Pay coverage, if you receive a settlement.
In this article, our Colorado personal injury lawyers explain:
- 1. What is Med Pay insurance in Colorado?
- 2. How does Med Pay insurance fit into the big picture?
- 3. Do I have to carry Med Pay insurance in Colorado?
- 4. Do Colorado car insurance companies have to offer Med Pay in their policies?
- 5. Do I have to reimburse my Med Pay insurance company if I settle with an at-fault driver?
- 6. Will my insurance premium go up if I use Med Pay coverage?
1. What is Med Pay insurance in Colorado?
Med Pay insurance covers reasonable medical expenses for physical injuries suffered in a car accident.
Med Pay insurance is a part of your car insurance coverage. It is not a part of your medical insurance. Unlike medical insurance, there is no deductible to be met with Med Pay. Med Pay insurance can also be used to cover co-pays required by your medical coverage.
Med Pay comes in different levels. Insurance companies have to offer at least $5,000. You can choose to pay for more coverage. Additional coverage packages come with higher premiums. They often provide Med Pay coverage in the amount of:
- $25,000, or
If you have Med Pay insurance, it provides coverage for everyone in your car at the time of the crash. It also covers injuries you suffer as a passenger in a car accident in someone else's vehicle. It also covers you if you were hit by a car but were not in one, providing coverage for:
1.1. What does Med Pay cover?
Med Pay insurance covers medical expenses for injuries sustained in a car crash. Those expenses have to be reasonable. It covers:
- Emergency care provided by emergency medical technicians at the scene of the crash,
- Ambulance rides,
- Emergency room care,
- Imaging services, including X-rays, CAT scans, or MRIs,
- Diagnostic services,
- Drugs for pain relief,
- Hospital bills for long-term stays,
- Pharmacy expenses for medication, and
- Physical therapy.
1.2. What does Med Pay not cover in Colorado?
Med Pay is restricted to covering your medical expenses sustained in a car crash. It does not cover:
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning potential from long-term injuries,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium suffered by your family,
- Property damage, including car repair bills, and
- Expenses above the policy limit.
Med Pay is also limited to car accidents. It does not cover accidents that do not involve a motor vehicle.
The insurance also only covers medical expenses that are reasonable. Treatment for medical conditions unrelated to the accident is not covered. Experimental treatments are also unlikely to be covered by Med Pay insurance.
2. How does Med Pay insurance fit into the big picture?
Med Pay is a type of first-party car insurance.
As a type of first-party insurance, Med Pay compensates the person paying for it. It does not help people hurt by the policyholder.
Med Pay is also a type of car insurance, not medical insurance. It only covers losses sustained in crashes involving a motor vehicle. If you were hurt in a different way, it will not apply to your case.
This makes Med Pay a hybrid between car insurance and medical insurance. It is often used to supplement medical insurance. It is especially useful to fill in for medical insurance that has a high deductible or has high co-pays.
3. Do I have to carry Med Pay insurance in Colorado?
No. As a type of first-party insurance, Colorado law does not require you to have Med Pay coverage.
However, Med Pay is often a good idea to have. It can help pay for medical bills that build up before your medical insurance deductible is met. It can also pay for co-pays that you would have to pay out of your own pocket, even if you are insured.
4. Do Colorado car insurance companies have to offer Med Pay in their policies?
Yes. Changes in Colorado's insurance law forced car insurance companies to offer Med Pay coverage.1
These changes went into effect in 2009. They require insurance companies to include at least $5,000 in Med Pay coverage in car insurance policies by default. You have to actively opt out of Med Pay coverage to go without it.
5. Do I have to reimburse my Med Pay insurance company if I settle with an at-fault driver?
No, Med Pay insurance does not allow the insurance company to take reimbursement from your settlement. This makes Med Pay different from other types of insurance.
Most insurance policies reserve the right to reimbursement. If you get hurt by another driver and use insurance money, and then win a lawsuit against the driver, your insurance company can take money from that recovery.
Example: Danielle suffers $10,000 in medical expenses after being hit by Carl. Her medical insurance company pays the bills. She then settles a lawsuit with Carl for $25,000. Her medical insurance company can collect its $10,000 back from the settlement.
Med Pay insurance does not let the insurance company recover this reimbursement. If you recover compensation from an at-fault driver, you keep it all.
Example: Danielle uses her Med Pay coverage to pay her $10,000 in medical expenses. She then settles her lawsuit with Carl for $25,000. Her Med Pay insurer cannot take back the $10,000 it paid.
6. Will my insurance premium go up if I use Med Pay coverage?
Your car insurance company can only raise your premium for Med Pay if you were at fault for the crash. If you were not at fault, your insurance company cannot increase its Med Pay premium.
Call us for help…
Med Pay coverage is a new type of insurance in Colorado. It can fill in some important gaps in your insurance coverage and ensure you get the care you need after a car crash. Contact our Colorado personal injury lawyers today if you need help with Med Pay insurance coverage.
See Senate Bill 08-011.