Gov. Charlie Crist signed legislation that will reinstate Florida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law and ensure that drivers have $10,000 worth of health care benefits through personal injury protection or PIP coverage by Jan.1, 2008.
The legislation also reforms the law that sunset on Oct.1 to include measures backers hope will protect consumers and reduce fraud.
“Today is a great day for the people of Florida because the Florida Legislature stepped in to provide protections for Florida’s drivers,” said Crist. “In doing so, they made a good law an even better law by helping reduce opportunities for fraud.”
House Bill 13C, sponsored by Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Ft. Lauderdale, and Sen.Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, who joined Crist for the bill signing ceremony, provides maximum allowable fees for medical providers. It also requires automobile insurers to notify by Nov. 15 any policyholders who do not already have PIP coverage that they must obtain coverage by Jan. 1, 2008.
The legislation also contains the following provisions:
Requires health care providers to demonstrate certain qualifications before they can receive PIP reimbursements.
Reserves $5,000 worth of benefits for physicians who provide emergency services or inpatient hospital care.
Streamlines the legal process for disputed claims by requiring that all PIP claims related to a single provider for the same injured person be joined in a single lawsuit.
Authorizes the Attorney General, in addition to the Office of Insurance Regulation, to take action against insurers that demonstrate a pattern of not paying valid claims.