When it comes to motor vehicle insurance there are so many companies available to you with various coverage options. Sometimes all of these options can be overwhelming when you are not sure what everything means. The bare minimum coverage here in Georgia is $25,000/$50,000 in insurance coverage. Georgia does not require any additional coverage options.
Though that sounds sufficient, sometimes the treatment you require for your injuries sustained in an auto accident can exceed this number rather quickly. To understand this more fully let us look at the following example. A drunk driver veers into your lane and collides with you head-on leaving you in the hospital for two (2) weeks amassing a medical bill of over $100,000.00. If that drunk driver has only minimum coverage that means the most his auto insurance will pay you for your medical bills and pain & suffering is $25,000.00, and if your car had two (2) passengers, the most his insurance would pay would be $50,000.00 for you 3 to split. This is when it is important to have additional coverages, such as Medical Payments Coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage (or more commonly referred to as Medpay) is a no-fault medical payment coverage on your auto policy. This is an additional coverage option and is not a part of full coverage. You must specifically ask for this coverage. Using the example above, if you purchased $10,000.00 in Medpay coverage on your own auto insurance policy, then your auto insurance will cover up to $10,000.00 in those accrued medical bills.
Georgia Law prohibits your auto insurance carrier from increasing your rates should you need to use your own Medpay. This rule also applies to you needing to use your own Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Coverage. These coverages are additional coverages that you pay extra for on a monthly basis, and if you are not at-fault for a collision, then your auto carrier should not penalize you for using additional coverage that you pay for.
To better understand Medpay and how it works, we will again take you through another example. In this example, you are hit and injured by another person who is found at-fault for this collision. Your injuries require immediate care, and thus, you go to the hospital via EMS/Ambulance, where they perform X-Rays on your injuries. At this time, you will have 4 bills: the ambulance/EMS bill, the hospital bill, the bill from the ER Physician who treated you, and the Radiology bill. After being released, you continue to have pains, and you follow-up with chiropractic treatment. Your treatment also includes orthopedic care, and ultimately, you require injections, MRIs, and other alternative measures in between. While all this treatment is medically necessary, your medical bills begin to add up. Depending on how extensive the treatment is, you may already be exceeding $25,000.00 in medical costs, and this does not incorporate your pain and suffering. Additional UM coverage (which is discussed here) would be very beneficial in this scenario as well as Medical Payments coverage.
In this scenario, Medpay is an additional coverage that helps pay for medical treatment. It often comes in values of $1,000.00, $2,000.00, $5,000.00, $10,000.00, and even $25,000.00. If you have Medpay on your policy, then this often is used first before health insurance. Thus, in the scenario above, if you had $1,000.00 in Medpay coverage on your own auto policy, then your auto policy would pay up to $1,000.00 of your medical bills related to the collision.
Medpay can be used even when you are the at-fault party in an accident. If we use the example provided above and say you have $10,000.00 in Medpay, you would be able to apply $10,000.00 towards any medical bills you have accrued for treatment related to the accident. This applies even if though you were at-fault for the collision.
Outside of the provided examples, MedPay would be a great add-on to have if you do not carry health insurance or have health insurance with high deductibles.
Adding MedPay to your policy will come with additional fees but if you are able to afford it, the coverage would be very beneficial. You never know the amount of insurance coverage another driver possesses, what kind of injuries you could sustain during an auto accident, and unfortunately, no matter how safely you drive, you cannot control other drivers. Make sure you discuss with your agent how this will affect the cost of your insurance and make a decision that will work best for you.
Using your Medpay to help cover the costs of your medical bills can also have a profound impact on how much money goes into your pocket when settling your case. Speak with an attorney to discuss how and why this would be the case.
We know trying to process all this information along with having an injury can be overwhelming. Thus, we here at The Larrison Law Firm want to extend a hand in guiding you through this process. My staff and I would be happy to set up a free consultation to discuss the details of your individual case and needs. Give us a call at 770-554-8100 or visit us at larrisonlawfirm.com. We have locations in both Loganville and Athens and serve all areas in between.