The Florida House of Representatives has passed a new bill that aims to dismantle auto insurance fraud in the state. The bill, House Bill 119, passed with a vote of 85-30, receiving a great deal of support from both political parties. The bill will now contend with a similar legislation heading to the state’s Senate, Senate Bill 1860. Both bills have similar goals, but seek to accomplish them in differing ways. Governor Rick Scott, who has made insurance fraud a top priority this legislative session, says that the ultimate goal is to stop fraud, and he believes both bills will be able to put an end to this brand of crime in Florida.
House Bill 119 will put a cap on attorney fees that are related to car accidents that require medical attention. It will also require accident victims to go to hospital emergency rooms or hospital owned clinics before they can receive benefits. Regulators claim that pain clinics unaffiliated with health care organizations are often operated by people that have no medical experience. As such, they do not necessarily provide an effective form of care. The Senate bill would not impose limitations on treatments given to accident victims, but would not force insurers to cover massage therapy and acupuncture.
Some legislators have shown favor for the House Bill, while others prefer the Senate version. The common consensus among lawmakers, however, is that auto insurance fraud is a serious issue that needs immediate and aggressive attention.