If you have an automobile, you know that in Florida auto insurance is mandatory. Are you aware of the new changes to your auto insurance policy? Those changes are going to affect your medical bill payment benefits in case of an auto accident. It is important that you know your rights under the new Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law. Florida is a No-Fault State. What that means is that regardless of fault, PIP will pay for your medical treatment and/or loss wages up to $10,000.00.
Previously, if you were involved in an auto accident, you did not have a time limit to seek treatment and you could choose medical treatment from a medical provider of your preference in order for PIP to cover your medical treatment.
Under the new PIP law, which went into effect January 1, 2013, states that you have only 14 days from the day of the accident to seek medical treatment. PIP will NOT pay for your medical treatment regardless of the diagnosis after that time. The medical treatment and diagnosis within this 14-day window can only be rendered by a medical doctor (MD), osteopathic doctor (DO), a chiropractic physician (DC), a dentist, or a hospital emergency room. Additionally, if you seek initial medical treatment for injuries within 14 days from a chiropractor, your PIP will only pay up to $2,500.00 in medical benefits, and no more regardless of your condition. In addition, PIP would not cover any therapeutic messages or acupuncture treatment.
Another important change is that PIP will only pay up to $10,000.00 for your medical expenses if your injuries are considered an “Emergency Medical Condition.” “Emergency Medical Condition” is defined as an injury or injuries of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain that seriously jeopardized the patient’s health, that could cause serious impairment to bodily functions, and serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part. “Emergency Medical Condition” can be made by a medical doctor, osteopathic doctor, dentist, physicians assistant, or an advanced registered nurse practitioner. An “Emergency Medical Condition” cannot be diagnosed by a chiropractic physician. If it is determined that you do not have an “Emergency Medical Condition,” your PIP insurance medical benefits are limited to $2,500.00. Again, the diagnosis can only be made by a medical doctor, osteopathic doctor, physicians assistant, a dentist, or a nurse practitioner.
We all pay our auto insurance month after month and year after year. However, most of us do not know what we are paying for. The new PIP law was designed to reduce vehicle insurance fraud; however, the changes could be catastrophic to your health and pocketbook if you are not aware of your rights.