Georgia’s Med Pay Coverage
As a driver, you should carry some form of Medical Payment Coverage (or “Med Pay” for short) on your auto insurance policy. In the event that you are involved in an accident, this coverage helps you or your passengers with medical bills resulting from a collision. While it may seem like an unnecessary cost, the benefits of Med Pay outweigh what is usually a nominal expense.
Med Pay typically comes in coverage levels ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. It is used to pay for medical or funeral expenses if an insured person is involved in a car accident. Under Georgia Law (OCGA Section 33-34-2(1)), medical payment coverage includes any type of coverage where the insurer agrees to reimburse the insured and others in their vehicle for reasonable medical expenditures and funeral costs directly associated with the bodily injury or death from a vehicle accident. These payments are made without regard to liability. This means that, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident – regardless of who was at-fault – your insurer will pay up to your limit purchased for reasonable medical costs and death costs.
Identifying the “Insured” for Med Pay
Georgia Legislature defines an “insured” party as the person named on the insurance policy, a resident, relative, or a person who is occupying the vehicle (see OCGA Section 33-34-2(1)). The insured party must be occupying a covered vehicle in order to access their Med Pay benefits. For example, if you purchase Med Pay for your family SUV, but you are injured in a friend’s vehicle, the coverage that you purchased for the family SUV will not cover your medical expenses. Instead, you would rely on the coverage that your friend purchased for his or her own vehicle.
Med Pay insurance is relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the medical costs that you pay out of pocket, if you or your passengers are injured in an accident. It can also be beneficial if your personal health insurance has a high deductible, or if you do not carry health insurance (although we always suggest having medical insurance as well). You could also consider purchasing enough Med Pay coverage to help offset the costs of your high health insurance deductible so that you reduce your out-of-pocket expenses at the time of an accident.
The Limitations of Med Pay Coverage
There are limitations to what Med Pay will cover. Under Georgia Law, your expenses from an accident must be submitted for reimbursement within three years of the accident date. However, an insurer may have their own date that goes past the three-year cut-off.
This means that your insurer will cover all reasonable medical expenses related to your accident within three years of the date of the incident. The insurer can make the period longer, but under Georgia Law, they cannot shorten this period.
Speak with a Georgia Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at T. Madden & Associates, P.C. can assist you with your accident claim. We’re experienced in all aspects of accident and injury claims, so schedule your no-obligation consultation today by calling 770-978-6711 for Atlanta and 706-524-7784 for Augusta. You can also ask a legal question online by filling out our online contact form.