Floridians will wake up on January 1, 2013 with a new anti-consumer insurance law to deal with. Governor Rick Scott has handed Big insurance some changes in No fault law (Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits) effective January 1, 2013. This is supposed to reduce your PIP insurance. What will be different?
Assume you are at a red light on your way to the grocery store when you get hit from behind. You are dazed, have a pounding headache and searing neck pain which goes into your arm. Your car is totaled. An ambulance comes and takes you to the nearest ER. Who will pay for this?
- You will only be entitled to $2500 of PIP health insurance instead of the current $10,000. Most of that will be used up in the first 3 hours after the accident by getting an ambulance to carry you to the Hospital, and being checked out in the hospital. Most of my clients get billed between $5,000 and $10,000 for the ER evaluation/care now and that is not going to change.
- You will owe the balance of your ER bill and hospital bill. If you have medicare, medicaid or a group policy that will get charged. If you have no insurance you will owe it.
- Unless you are admitted to the hospital under emergency care you will not be able to get PIP to pay any of your remaining $7,500 of insurance.
- If you wait more than 14 days from the accident date to start seeing a doctor, none of your bills will be payable by your PIP insurance. Many of my more macho clients try to tough it out. Too bad if they wait 15 days. You will be waiving insurance by doing that.
BOTTOM LINE: Because most of your PIP insurance dollars will be gone in a flash, there will be no money to get a doctor to provide followup care unless you were admitted into the hospital. Then the full $10,000 will be used up entirely by the hospital, ER, anesthesiology, etc. There will be no PIP money left over for followup care.
The vote on this horrible new law was close, along party lines but at the end of the day, the Republican controlled Florida legislature gave big insurance what it wanted. Let’s see how the little guys like getting stuck with huge medical bills and no coverage. Another dream come true for the Insurance lobby and nightmare for those who think it will never happen to them.