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What’s the Difference Between MedPay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?

patient with doctor going over information on clipboard

MedPay and PIP are both types of medical coverage that kick in when a policyholder files a claim – typically after a car wreck. But each has its own unique list of coverages and other defining aspects. 

The two curiously worded terms “MedPay” and “PIP” have enough in common that it makes sense to start with their similarities rather than their differences. In many states, both are car insurance supplements to the policyholder’s car insurance policy. In some states, one or the other is mandatory. 

MedPay is a mashup of the words “medical payments” coverage, while PIP stands for “personal injury protection.” Both benefits kick in when the policyholder is hurt as a result of a vehicular accident. 

Now let’s look closer at the difference between Medpay and PIP, as both types offer different features and benefits. 

PIP Coverage of Health-Related Costs Is Generally More Extensive Than MedPay 

Your PIP benefits and MedPay benefits will each cover your hospitalization and immediate medical expenses if you’re injured as a driver or passenger. The main difference is that PIP will go farther. 

You can expect both types to pay up to your coverage limits for immediate costs such as hospitalization, surgery, orthopedics, dental, and prosthetics. You’ll also be covered for ambulance costs, X-rays, nursing, and even funeral expenses if that should become necessary. Your passengers are similarly covered when you carry one of these options. 

Over and above these expenses, your PIP add-on coverage will also cover such costs as lost income if you’re not paid for the time off work, physical or occupational therapy, and psychiatric costs if related to the covered accident. There’s even a death benefit and survivor’s benefit with this coverage option. 

On the other hand, one distinct advantage of MedPay coverage is that it extends benefits if you’re injured while on a bus or other form of public transport or you’re hit by a motorist as a pedestrian. There’s enough overlap of coverage features that you’d only carry one of these benefits — not both. 

Am I Required to Carry MedPay or PIP Car Insurance Benefits? 

In most U.S. states, you don’t have to have either. PIP coverage is mandatory in 15 states, including all 12 no-fault auto insurance states. MedPay benefits are only required in Maine and New Hampshire. Some states will not allow one or the other to be purchased. In most other states, both are offered as optional benefits only.  

woman with hurt neck after car accident

Do I Still Need Health Insurance If I Have PIP or MedPay? 

Yes, definitely! Remember, your MedPay or PIP benefit will only cover your medical costs as a result of a vehicular accident, and there are countless other ways of racking up medical costs. Your MedPay or PIP won’t cover serious illness, a broken bone from a skiing accident, annual checkups, or any other reason for a doctor’s appointment, hospitalization, therapy, or pharmaceuticals not related to covered accidents. 

Additionally, both benefits have relatively low coverage limits — and medical costs are notoriously costly. That’s why they’re considered to be supplemental forms of coverage. If you’re seriously injured in a car accident, your MedPay or PIP might cover some of that cost, but your healthcare insurance will serve as your primary form of coverage or take over when your supplemental benefit runs out. 

Discuss Your Full Range of Coverage Options with Your Independent Auto Insurance Agent 

The entire subject of car insurance can be complicated. There are many industry terms you might not be familiar with, but they’re critically important in understanding your benefits when something comes up and budgeting for the most affordable coverage. That’s where your knowledgeable independent car insurance agent comes into the picture. 

Don’t hesitate to ask every question you have so that you have a thorough understanding of your policy before you sign any papers. Then keep your agent’s phone number handy, so you can call when you need to file a claim. That’s why it’s important to work with someone who you like and trust. After all, the purpose of insurance is to provide you with financial security and peace of mind when you need it most. 

Get Affordable Auto Insurance Quotes Online Today 

We can help you find cheap car insurance with all the benefit options you need and can afford. Call us at (800) 777-5620 or get a quick car insurance quote online. You can also find an office location near you and meet with a knowledgeable Freeway Insurance agent. 

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