Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay) in Virginia
You have several options when you purchase auto insurance coverage in Virginia. One type of optional coverage is Medical Payments Coverage, also known as Med Pay.
Med Pay coverage is important if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Virginia. This article explains Med Pay, its limits, and why you should purchase Med Pay coverage when you buy an auto insurance policy.
If you have any questions about Med Pay coverage, or are looking for legal representation in your auto accident case, contact Richmond car accident lawyer and Newport News auto accident attorney Corey Pollard for a free consultation. As your personal injury attorney we’ll help you recover fair compensation for your damages.
What is Med Pay Coverage?
Med Pay coverage is an insurance policy issued by your own automobile insurance carrier. It protects you if you are hurt in a motor vehicle accident.
In Virginia Med Pay coverage can be used to pay for medical bills and medical wages. Specifically, Virginia Med Pay covers:
1. All reasonable and necessary expenses for medical, hospital, chiropractic, dental, surgical, rehabilitation, prosthetic, emergency medical, and funeral services resulting from a motor vehicle accident and incurred within three years of the date of the accident.
2. An amount equal to the loss of income incurred after the date of the accident up to $100 per week up to the date you are able to return to your usual occupation. Med Pay does not have to pay benefits for wage loss incurred more than one year after the date of the accident.
Do I Have to Purchase Med Pay Coverage in Virginia?
No, you do not have to purchase Med Pay coverage in Virginia. But your auto insurance carrier must offer Med Pay coverage as an option that can be added to your policy.
Can I Use Med Pay if I Was at Fault for the Car Wreck?
Yes. You can receive benefits through your Med Pay coverage regardless of who is at fault for the car wreck. This means you can collect Med Pay benefits even if you caused the motor vehicle accident.
Is Med Pay Coverage a Good Substitute for Private Health Insurance Coverage?
No. Med Pay is not a replacement for regular health insurance because 1) you can only use Med Pay coverage for injuries suffered in the car accident and 2) there are limits on how much Med Pay will cover.
Med Pay does, however, work well in conjunction with private health insurance. Medical Payments coverage will help with most, or all, of the deductibles or co-pays you may owe under your regular health insurance. This reduces the amount of money you must pay out of pocket for medical care related to your car accident injuries.
Do I Have to Repay Benefits Extended under Med Pay Coverage?
Usually you do not have to repay money that the Med Pay insurance carrier paid to your health care providers. But some Med Pay carriers will claim they have a right to be reimbursed from the proceeds of your personal injury claim.
Make sure that you consult an injury attorney if the Med Pay carrier asserts it is owed money. They should not take this position. You paid premiums so that you would have coverage in case you were hurt in a motor vehicle accident. When it does happen, the Med Pay carrier should not be entitled to reimbursement.
What Bills Should I Use Med Pay Coverage For?
We recommend using Med Pay coverage for your hospital bills first. Hospitals can place a lien on your personal injury recover. As a result, they are less likely to accommodate you while your personal injury claim is pending.
Your medical doctors or chiropractors may ask if you have Med Pay coverage. Then they will charge you full price since they think they will get paid through Med Pay. Make sure you get an estimate of charges before you treat with these providers. They should provide you a fair rate regardless of what coverage may be available.
Will Med Pay Cover Passengers in My Car?
Med Pay coverage is available to the passengers in your vehicle. It covers not only you but also your spouse and any children who live with you.
Can I Stack Medical Payments Coverage Under Multiple Auto Insurance Policies?
In Virginia you can stack Med Pay coverage. If you are injured in an auto accident and own multiple cars, each of which has Med Pay coverage, then you may be able to multiply the Med Pay coverage by the amount of the number of cars that you have insured, up to a maximum of four vehicles.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit if I Collect Benefits through Med Pay Coverage?
Yes. You can still file a third-party personal injury claim against the driver who was responsible for your injuries, even if you collect Med Pay benefits.
What Should I Do if I Do Not Have Med Pay Coverage?
Auto accidents are the most common cause of catastrophic injuries in Virginia and the U.S. If you do not have Med Pay coverage then I recommend you call your insurance agent or insurance carrier and do the following:
1. Ask the insurance agent why he or she did not recommend you purchase Med Pay coverage. Med Pay coverage is inexpensive. It costs just a few dollars per year and provides benefits that are important if you are hurt in a car wreck. In fact, Med Pay coverage is a must if you do not have private health insurance to cover most of your medical bills.
2. Purchase Med Pay coverage and add it to your existing auto insurance policy. You should discuss the appropriate amount of Med Pay coverage with your insurance agent.
A Personal Injury Lawyer to Help You Recover Benefits through Your Med Pay Coverage in Virginia
After a car accident we can help you use your Med Pay coverage to:
- Make sure that doctors and other health care providers get paid quickly so that you are able to continue to receive medical care from these providers
- Make sure that you do not have to pay too much money out of pocket while you are waiting for your auto accident liability claim to settle
- Pay for co-pays, which can be thousands of dollars if you have serious car accident injuries that require extensive treatment
- Get every possible dollar out of all available policies to help you move forward with your life following an auto accident
Call now for your free consultation with an experienced Virginia auto accident attorney.