A deal has been reached in the Florida Legislature on Personal Injury Protection Insurance/No Fault (PIP). The old no fault law had been around for about four decades. It expired October 1. Governor Crist put it on the agenda for the current special legislative session. Much to the chagrin of the Auto Insurance Industry a bill reinstating PIP has passed. The bill has the approval of Governor Crist. The new PIP law will take effect January 1, 2008. Significant provisions of the new PIP bill include:
No change to the 80% medical bill coverage or the 20% co-pay;
A new fee schedule capping what most health care providers can charge to 200% of the Medicare reimbursement rates;
A new provision allocating $5000 to be set-aside for doctors who administer emergency and hospital care;
New restrictions on the types of clinics that can bill PIP;
New uniform PIP claim documentation requirements for PIP claims;
New authority for the Florida Attorney General’s office to sanction insurance companies that wrongfully deny claims;
Mandates the consolidation of perfected claims from one health care provider relating to the same patient and the same insurance company.
Insurance companies will have to notify policyholders by November 15. Until the bill takes effect in January most Florida auto accidents will no longer require a permanent injury threshold to recover pain and suffering damages. That limitation will come back with the new PIP law.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.