What is medpay and why should I pay for it?

Medpay, or medical payments coverage, is a type of insurance coverage you can obtain on your auto insurance policy to help pay for treatment after a car accident. Medpay covers the reasonable medical expenses from the accident, regardless of fault. This insurance pays up to the policy limit for each person in your car. It also covers you when you are in an auto accident in another person’s car. This coverage does not require you to pay a deductible or co-pay before you can access coverage benefits. Medpay is optional but often a valuable type of coverage for a low premium. Car insurance companies are required to offer medpay in Colorado, but you are not required to buy it.

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    What is medpay insurance in Colorado?

    Medpay, or medical payments coverage, pays the reasonable medical expenses incurred for injuries suffered in a car accident up to the purchased policy limits. 

    Typically personal injury attorneys deal with medpay as part of your auto insurance policy. (You may carry a similar type of medpay on your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance.) It is not health insurance and it is not a part of a health insurance policy. Unlike your health insurance policy, medpay does not require you to pay a deductible or co-pay.

    Car insurance companies in Colorado must offer medpay of at least $5,000 but may offer higher policy limits. $5,000 is the minimum required by state law. Many insurers also offer $10,000 in coverage. A few insurance companies even offer $25,000 or as much as $100,000. Insurance companies in Colorado are not required to offer medpay for motorcycles, low-power scooters or toy vehicles. (C.R.S. § 10-4-635(4)(a).)

    One of the benefits of medpay coverage in Colorado is that it pays up to the policy limits for each person in your car if your car is involved in a crash. If you suffer injuries in another person’s car, it only pays for your injuries. 

    Medpay also pays for treatment required for injuries when you are hit by a car but not a driver or passenger of a car. This includes:

    Medpay is no-fault coverage, meaning you can claim benefits in an accident even if you are deemed responsible for it. 

    Who does medpay cover?

    Medpay can be a big help with your medical bills in a car accident, especially if the car accident involves many injured people. Although you only pay one premium for medpay coverage in your auto insurance policy, it can cover several people.

    If you are in a car accident in a car on your policy, medpay pays up to the policy limit for each person in your car. 

    As a passenger involved in a car accident, medpay will pay on your claim and a claim for anybody else covered by your policy. It does not cover anybody else in the car unless it is your car. If the driver of your car carries medpay on their policy, you may also be able to file a claim under their policy, too.

    Medpay covers any listed policyholder and generally any member of your household. 

    Additionally, you may obtain medpay coverage as a resident relative of a family member’s separate auto policy. For example, you have an auto policy for your car. Your grandmother moves in to your home so you can take care of her. She has her own policy on her car. If you are in a car accident, you can file medpay claims under your policy and her policy. 

    What does medpay cover?

    Medpay covers medical expenses related to injuries caused by a car accident. These include:

    • Ambulance transportation
    • Emergency room visits
    • Urgent care visits
    • Hospital bills for room and board
    • Surgery
    • Diagnostic imaging, such as MRIs and CT scans
    • Doctor visits
    • Physical therapy and other conservative treatment
    • Pain management
    • Medication and medical devices
    • Concussion evaluation and treatment

    What does medpay not cover?

    Medpay does not pay for any losses in a car accident beyond related medical bills. It does not cover lost earnings or pain and suffering. 

    Medpay only pays for treatment related to your injuries. If medical care is determined to be unrelated to a car accident, your auto carrier does not have a duty to pay on that treatment.

    Colorado medpay statute

    How does medpay work with other insurance coverage in my car accident?

    After your car accident, several insurance policies may become involved in your case. The Denver car accident lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys will deal with insurance issues in your case so you can focus on your injuries. 

    Medpay is first party insurance meaning it pays benefits to the person who bought the policy. Medpay pays benefits to you and any other covered person in your car. It does not pay for medical treatment to anybody in another vehicle.

    In addition to medical payments coverage, your health insurance plan may also pay for treatment. You may carry health insurance through:

    Your health insurance policy may separately pay for treatment in your accident. (You may have to reimburse your health insurance provider.) You can submit medical bills to health insurance and medpay for benefit payments.

    There may be multiple medpay policies involved in your car accident. You may receive secondary coverage from the driver of your car, resident relative coverage, or you may even have separate medpay coverage on other vehicles you own.

    At the end of your personal injury case, you may receive a settlement from the at-fault driver’s liability coverage. Also, you may receive payments from your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. These insurance payments are separate from medpay. 

    Your car accident lawyer will investigate all of the involved insurance policies and make sure you receive maximum compensation from all of the policies involved.

    Is medpay no-fault coverage in Colorado?

    Medpay in Colorado is no-fault coverage. That means you can file a medical payments coverage claim for a car accident even if you are 100% at fault. 

    You do not have to wait for a liability investigation or prove somebody else’s negligence caused your injuries. Your insurer may investigate whether a collision occurred. It also may investigate whether coverage exists. These investigations may delay payments.

    You should always file a claim for your medical bills after a car accident, regardless of fault.

    Is Colorado a PIP or medpay state?

    Colorado is a medpay state. You cannot buy PIP coverage in Colorado.

    PIP, or personal injury protection, is no-fault insurance coverage similar to medpay but it also covers other economic losses like lost wages. Each state that mandates PIP coverage sets its own rules for coverage. 

    Some states, like Texas, mandate PIP but insurance companies offer medpay as an alternative to PIP. If you reject PIP, you can buy medpay instead. 

    Do I need medpay if I have health insurance?

    Many people choose to purchase medpay even if they have health insurance. Your health insurance may not pay for all of the treatment you need or may require you to pay a deductible or copay. Medpay does not require any deductible or copay.

    Many health insurance plans also do not cover all types of treatment you may need after a car accident. Typically health insurance does not pay for chiropractors or massage, which may be recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may also recommend pain management or even surgery that your health insurance plan refuses to fund. 

    You can also submit bills to health insurance and medpay to increase the amount of money you receive at the end of your auto accident case. 

    Do I have to buy medpay in Colorado?

    In Colorado you are not required to buy any first party insurance, including medpay. 

    Your auto insurance carrier typically will require you to sign a waiver or selection/rejection form confirming your decision to buy or waive medpay.

    If you chose not to buy medpay, you can add it at a later date. It will not retroactively cover a car accident, but it will apply to future collisions.

    Do Colorado auto insurance companies have to offer medpay?

    Under the 2009 Colorado medpay statute, auto insurance carriers must offer at least $5,000 in medpay coverage for all vehicles except motorcycles, low-power scooters and toy vehicles. 

    If you waive coverage and have a car accident, your insurance company must prove that you waived coverage in writing. If it cannot prove you rejected medpay in writing, it may have to provide $5,000 in coverage at their expense.

    How does medpay work?

    After a car accident causing injuries, you or your car accident attorney will report the collision to your insurance company and open a medpay claim. The insurance company will begin investigating to confirm coverage. 

    As you incur medical bills, your medpay coverage can begin paying on your claim as soon as they confirm coverage for the accident. Some healthcare providers choose to send bills directly to your medpay carrier. Your attorney may also submit bills to your auto carrier for reimbursement. Your insurer pays on your claim until you reach your policy limits and exhaust coverage.

    In Colorado, emergency care providers have priority right to medpay. Under the Colorado medpay statute, ambulance companies and hospitals providing emergency care after the wreck have a statutory right to receive payments before everybody else. Their right to first payment extends for thirty days after the wreck. If they do not submit bills in that time frame they lose their priority right to payment.

    If your auto insurer disputes a bill or whether treatment is reasonable and necessary for a car accident injury, it may further investigate at its expense. 

    At Front Range Injury Attorneys, your personal injury lawyer will take care of opening a medpay claim and handle receiving payments on your claim. We want to make your case as easy for you as possible so you can focus on your well-being. 

    Filing a medpay claim in Colorado

    Do I have to reimburse medpay if I settle with an at-fault driver?

    No, in Colorado medpay cannot seek reimbursement for benefits paid. 

    Most health insurance coverage reserves a right to reimbursement. This is true for private health insurance as well as public plans like Medicaid and Medicare. When you settle your case, or obtain a judgment after a trial, your health insurance plan may seek reimbursement for what it paid towards your treatment. 

    Medpay has no right to seek reimbursement. That means you can submit the same medical bill to your health insurance, medpay and the at-fault driver’s policy for payment from all three. Although health insurance may seek reimbursement, medpay cannot. 

    In some states, like Texas, your auto insurance policy can deduct payments under medpay from the amount they owe you under uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In Colorado, your auto carrier cannot deduct medpay from UM/UIM coverage or the other way around.

    Will my car insurance premium increase if I use medpay?

    Your insurance company cannot increase your premiums for filing a claim for medpay. 

    Your insurance company may increase your premiums if you are at fault for a car accident. The increase may occur regardless of any claim you file with your own insurance. Insurance companies can discover car accidents in many cases even if you do not report the accident to your insurer or open any claims. 

    Contact us for a free case review

    After a car accident, it can be frustrating to figure out what to do and how to make sure the insurance companies do not rip you off. At Front Range Injury Attorneys we give our clients the guidance to get through this awful experience and fight for you to get maximum compensation on your case. We will handle your medpay claim and all other injury claims to let you focus on the treatment you need and getting your life back in order. Call or use the contact form below for a free case review. Contact us today.

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