OAIN: Florida Auto Insurance Reform Bill Would Drastically Affect Coverage
01/27/2012

A bill that was approved by a subcommittee on Wednesday would replace PIP with “emergency care coverage.”

Online PR News – 27-January-2012 – – A bill aimed at reducing fraud and car coverage costs that was approved on Wednesday by a Florida House subcommittee would fundamentally alter what is covered by minimum policies in the state, reports Online Auto Insurance News.

The legislation would completely eliminate the requirement for Florida motorists to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) policies and would instead require them to buy “emergency care coverage” (ECC), a new kind of policy that the authors of the bill have created and is not currently available in any state.

Under ECC, Florida car insurance companies would only be required to pay for emergency medical services that are provided in hospital emergency rooms or hospital-licensed clinics. It would also only provide coverage if people covered under the policies went in for treatment within 72 hours of the crash. If a condition is diagnosed during that period, further emergency care after the 72-hour period would also be covered.

if you’re referred with a nonemergency condition

But “if you’re referred with a nonemergency condition,” said the bill’s author, Rep. Jim Boyd, in a subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, further treatment “is not applicable under this policy.”

That is a vast change from the current PIP system, which covers at least “80 percent of all reasonable medical expenses” incurred by a policyholder after a crash, up to the policy limits.

Source: http://www.flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/Session/2012/InterimReports/2012-203bi.pdf

If the bill is passed as is and ECC becomes the new standard, Florida motorists would have to purchase optional medical payments coverage or a standard health coverage policy in order to have their non-emergency medical expenses covered.

The authors of the bill want to change the current system because they say unscrupulous medical care providers are overtreating and inflating bills in order get as much as they can of the $10,000 worth of PIP insurance that Florida drivers are required to carry.

Rep. Boyd and an official from the state insurance department said at Wednesday’s meeting that replacing PIP with ECC would cut costs for insurers and consumers. They could not say how much costs would be cut, though, since ECC is basically a new type of policy that has never been priced before.

To learn more about this and other coverage issues, you can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/companies/ to find informative resources and a helpful rate-comparison generator that can assist consumers in finding the lowest rates fast.

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