It is the time of year again when greedy insurance companies are lobbying the Florida legislators in an attempt to leverage changes to Florida's PIP statute to increase insurance company profits while decreasing and diluting insurance coverage to the point where it is virtually nonexistent. Welcome to the 2012 Florida legislative session. There is both a House bill and a Senate bill floating around Tallahassee both of which contain very draconian changes to the PIP statute. In other words, they are pro insurance company changes and anti consumer changes. The changes proposed would most likely keep premiums the same or worse yet increase them while drastically reducing the coverage itself and all but eliminating any consumer choices in types of treatment desired. In years past, a person injured in a car accident was free to choose whatever type of treatment they desired to treat their accident-related injuries, including, hospitals, medical doctors, doctors of osteopath, chiropractors, massage therapist, acupuncture and even faith healing.
Some of the changes being proposed in the House and Senate bill look like they were drafted by the CEO's of State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, USAA, The Hartford and Liberty Mutual. In fact, when these bills were first presented to the sub-committees in the House and Senate, I wonder how they were presented with a straight face. Some of the anti consumer changes proposed include: the complete elimination of reimbursements for acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy; a cap on chiropractic care of $2,500.00; a triggering device to activate PIP by having to go from the scene of the accident straight to the emergency room, reimbursements limited to only hospitals that treat auto accident victims and discussions of having a treating physician testify under oath before treatment could be initiated that the proposed medical care and treatment was reasonable and necessary.
If any or all of these proposed changes are indeed passed and become part of the new PIP statute it will be the next step in what is becoming an alarming trend of big business and the profits they so deeply desire stepping on and completely squashing the everyday citizens of Florida. The 2012 Legislative Session ends today (March 9, 2012) so we should know by day's end whether Florida's PIP statute as we know it stays the same, is on life-support or pronounced dead.