New PIP Law in Effect in FLInsurance Fraud — By Trace America on July 3, 2012 at 3:25 PM
The long awaited “fix” to the personal injury protection (PIP) and insurance fraud problems Florida has been facing was put into place on July 1st. Earlier this year we reported on the projection of such a law existing, and now we can definitively say something has been put in place to assist in Florida’s fight against suspicious claims.
One of the big supporters of this law was Florida’s CFO, Jeff Atwater, who has appeared to be just as concerned as we are with the many relationships between pain clinics and attorneys when it comes to insurance benefits.
According to WKMG News and the new law, there are going to be some major changes when it comes to Personal Injury Protection.
“Atwater helped push for changes to the state’s insurance law, specifically PIP reform. Under the new law, only emergency medical conditions will warrant the full $10,000 in treatment from PIP coverage. Consequently, pain clinics and lawyers will have to stop making advertising claims that they can guarantee accident victims $10,000. This provision, state authorities told Local 6, is a direct response to pain clinics that exhaust an accident victim’s PIP money whether or not the victim needs treatment.”
As of January 1st, 2013 the new law will cap chiropractic and physical therapy treatments at $2,500. Three other changes that we’ll see in January include:
- A requirement that victims seek treatment within 14 days of an accident
- Massage therapy and acupuncture will no longer be covered by PIP
- Only certain medical providers will be eligible to treat PIP patients
The parts of the law that have already taken effect include:
- Tougher licensing standards for medical clinics
- A new state anti-fraud task force led by CFO Atwater
- Stiff penalties for providers caught defrauding the system
- A requirement that crash reports written and filed by police contain the names of all passengers in the vehicles, so that people not involved in the crash cannot go to a clinic claiming they need treatment
While many consumers are satisfied with this PIP reform, others still have their doubts and concerns when it comes to the lack of freedom victims will receive in their choice of medical treatment and some concerns expressed the new law favors the bottom line of the insurance companies.
However, the law also includes a requirement that insurance companies reduce their PIP premiums at least 10% by October 1st –or provide ample documentation why they cannot. It also requires companies to reduce PIP premiums 25% by the year 2014. That’s a lot of money saved for Florida drivers and hopefully this reform will serve its purpose and spread to other states facing similar increases in suspicious claims.
This post is authored by Trace America.