Personal Injury

Medical Payment Coverage (Medpay) What is it? How is it used?

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Sunday September 26, 2010

Okay, you have been injured in a car accident. You have many questions such as – How does the insurance work?   Do I need to file a claim with my own insurance company? Who will pay for my medical bills? Will my health insurance pay for my injuries from the car accident? Do I need an injury lawyer? How much does an injury attorney cost? And the list goes on.

Well, I am not going to answer every question you have with this blog post; however we will discuss payment of medical bills using medpay. If you are injured in a car accident in Omaha, Nebraska, you will be negotiating a lump sum settlement with the insurance company representing the driver who caused the car accident. In most circumstances, this means your car accident injury lawyer will be negotiating one settlement that will include money for medical bills, pain & suffering, lost wages, inconvenience, etc. If you and your car accident attorney are unable to reach an agreement with the at-fault person’s insurance company, the next step will be to file a lawsuit. 
Now, you should not attempt to negotiate your insurance settlement until your injuries have healed completely, or you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI). Often times it takes months, or even years, before a person injured in a car accident is released from care by their treating physicians. In the meantime, the bills keep coming. One way an injured person can pay for their medical bills is by using medical payment coverage or “medpay”. Not everyone has medpay.  Medpay is additional coverage that you can contract for when purchasing car insurance. Usually, if you carry higher than the minimum liability coverage and/or collision coverage for your vehicle, some amount of medpay will be included within your insurance policy. If you are injured in a car accident, you can use your medpay money to help pay for medical bills whether the car accident was your fault or not; however, if the accident was someone else’s fault, the medpay insurance provider may be entitled to subrogation (reimbursement from settlement) of amounts paid.

Medpay can be paid directly to a treatment provider (i.e. doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor, etc.), or the injured person can submit receipts for their own reimbursement. Just because you have medical payment coverage does not mean you should not give treatment providers your health insurance information. First of all, medical payment coverage is capped at whatever amount you contracted for. Typically, a medpay policy will provide somewhere between $1,000.00 to $10,000.00 in coverage; however, many policies have no medical payment coverage at all and some have as much as $50,000.00. Again, it depends on what you purchase from your auto insurance company. Second, if possible, your attorney will attempt to have all medical bills first go through your health insurance before taking advantage of any medical payment coverage with an auto carrier.  The reason for wanting bills to first go through health insurance is that health insurance companies have contracted for reduced rates with almost all healthcare treatment providers. For example, if you have a doctor’s bill that is $1,000.00, your health insurance company will likely pay somewhere between $600.00 and $800.00, instead of the full $1,000.00 charged by the doctor’s office. This means at the end of your case if you have to pay an insurance company back (subrogate) with proceeds received from your injury settlement; you will only have to pay back $660 or $800, instead of $1,000.00.

Long story short, make sure to find out whether you have medical payment coverage as part of your current car insurance policy and, if so, how much coverage you have. Medical payment coverage is a great thing to include in your policy when purchasing automobile insurance coverage; and, in the event of a car accident, medpay can help pay for bills not covered by your health insurance, such as reimbursement of deductibles and co-pays. With that said, this post is a brief overview of medical payment coverage. If you have recently been injured in an accident, you should contact an injury attorney immediately to discuss your situation.

Chandler | Conway

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