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Understanding the NEW PIP Guidelines

In early 2012, Florida’s legislature made sweeping changes to Florida’s
no-fault automobile insurance law. According to the Florida Chiropractic
Association, the most significant changes were to the personal injury
protection (PIP) component of your coverage. This PIP coverage protects you
should you be in a motor vehicle accident and suffering from pain and injuries.
While all Florida drivers will still be required to carry PIP coverage, the
changes significantly alter how you will be able to seek and obtain medical
care for your injuries following an accident. There are 5 key aspects of the
new law that you should understand.

 

1. New Time Limits in Seeking
Treatment

Current law does not set a particular time frame for seeking treatment
following a motor vehicle accident. The new law gives you only 14 days to seek
treatment following the date of the accident. If you do not see a doctor during
the timeframe, you will lose the ability to use your PIP coverage for any
necessary treatment. It is now more important than ever to seek a
Medical/Chiropractic consultation promptly following an accident.

 
2. Changes in Coverage and Treatment
Options

You will still be required to carry
and pay insurance premiums for a full $10,000 of PIP coverage, however, in
certain situations you may only be entitled to up to a $2,500 reduced benefit.
You must now have a determination of a “emergency medical condition”
to access your full $10,000 benefit. It also restricts who is allowed to make
that determination to Medical Doctors. Lastly, massage therapy and acupuncture
treatments will no longer be covered services under this change.

 
3. What to Do if Your Auto Insurance
Carrier Stops Payment After $2,500?

If your auto insurance carrier stops payment after $2,500, you may continue
to obtain treatment with our office under a Letter of Protection if you are
presented by a lawyer and are filing a claim for recovery against the at-fault
driver. If our office is a network provider for your health insurance, you may
also be able to use those benefits.

 
4. Impact to Your Insurance Premiums

While the goal of these benefits reduction is to reduce fraud and reduce
costs, there is no requirement in the new law that insurance companies reduce
costs. Carriers were asked to consider a 10% reduction in premiums by their
rate filings in October 2012, most chose not to comply.

 
5. When These Changes Take Effect

While some of the provisions of the new law took effect on July 1, 2012, the
major changes will take effect January 1, 2013. You can expect a lot of
controversy over the interpretation of this new law because of the vagueness.

We are expecting a lot of concerns and issues with this new law. It will
have many unintended consequences and we are here to help anyone who has
questions or concerns. Please feel free to call our office at (561) 997-8898.

 

 
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