Medical Pay in California is available under your automobile insurance in California as a "voluntary add-on." This means it is not required by California law, but rather elective by you. I ALWAYS recommend a person to have medical payments under their car insurance because it is like having extra health insurance under your car insurance that will pay for medical bills that require payment right away, to help to protect your credit. Sometimes your private health plan does not pay for everything, or you have co-pays that are owed. Yes, you will get a settlement at some future point, but sometimes your medical bills need payment right away.
The 5 Big Benefits of Having Medical Pay on Your Car Insurance:
1. The coverage applies to you AND your passengers! So, you are not only protecting yourself, you are protecting your family members, your friends, and business associates who were riding with you when someone broke a safety rule of the road and cause a car crash.
2. It helps pay the bills that need to be paid right away, before you get your final settlement from the at-fault party - thus, it protects your credit and saves you money so you don't have to pay for those co-pays that are due now, as opposed to later.
3. It is a very liberal policy meaning that it will pay for any medical care "reasonably related to your car collision case." Such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, ER bills, etc. Sometimes it pays for medical care that your own private health plan does not cover!
4. It is NOT expensive! If you do the math, it is very reasonable and much cheaper than a normal health plan premium;
5. If you hire an injury lawyer for your case, and use your medical pay benefits, a good injury lawyer can negotiate down what you have to pay back to med pay when your case settles. Thus, this helps to give flexibility to your injury case, and increase your final net recovery from a settlement!
The Difference Between "Primary" and "Excess" Medical Pay:
Excess medical payment only pays for medical bills your private health plan does not pay for. If you do not have any private health insurance, you have to sign an affidavit declaring you have no private health insurance in order to trigger the benefits. This is why it is called "excess." It is excess to any private health you may have.
Primary medical pay pays right away for medical bills and you do not have to wait to bill out your private health insurance first as you do with excess medical pay coverage.
This is exactly why I DO NOT recommend excess medical pay coverage even though it is cheaper than primary medical pay coverage. First of all, the money you are saving by having excess medical pay coverage is just not worth it. With excess medical pay, you have to "jump through too many hoops" to even trigger the benefit, and many times it still gets denied. My advice is you ALWAYS purchase primary medical pay, and never excess medical pay. Excess medical pay is just not worth it in the long run.
If you have further questions on medical payments, or you need help with something else connected with your injury case, feel free to give me a call at 619.813.7955. I take calls like yours every day, and I would be happy to see if I could help you. Thanks for reading this, and as always, stay strong! Attorney Mark Blane