State cracks down on massive scam problem with several new laws that took effect on Sunday.
Three new measures and anti-fraud auto insurance laws will be included among 150 new regulations in Florida, in a part of the state’s efforts to crack down on a serious scam problem with their personal injury protection (PIP) laws.
The changes take direct aim at the way that auto insurance functions within the state.
The PIP coverage has been in place in Florida since 1972. Since that time, all drivers in Florida have been required to take out coverage that will pay for anyone who is injured in an accident, which will provide payments that will allow those individuals to receive the treatment they need without delay. The minimum allowable coverage requires the insurer to pay up to $10,000 toward the lost wages and medical bills of injured parties, no matter who caused the accident.
Though is program is designed to ensure victims of accidents can always afford medical treatment, fraud abounds.
According to state officials, fraudulent claims and staged accidents have been responsible for a significant amount of the $1.4 billion increase in the cost of PIP since 2008. The new auto insurance law, however, places a 14 day limit on seeking treatment following the time of the accident.
Another change to the system is that there is now a cap of $2,500 on benefits unless an “emergency medical condition” is declared by a doctor, dentist, osteopathic physician, supervised assistant of a physician, or advanced registered nurse practitioner. It will not be possible for chiropractors to determine that this situation is present. The same can be said about massage therapists and acupuncturists.
Though this is meant to ensure that the only people who are receiving the auto insurance payouts are those who actually require medical services, many chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists are concerned that this will mean that many people who have been legitimately injured and can benefit from their services will hesitate to do so as they will be required to pay for them out of their own pockets. This could be hard business for these providers and may limit the forms of treatment available to accident victims.