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Florida, Your Insurance Coverage Just Changed

Question: In Florida, what changes are there to the PIP coverage? I've heard a lot of talk about changes in 2013, but I don't know the details.

Answer:  Even with changes to Florida's no-fault insurance, car owners here are still required to purchase $10,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP will continue pay out 80 percent of medical expenses that are found to be necessary and reasonable, regardless of fault.

However, starting in Jan. 1, 2013, there are changes in Florida concerning how quickly you must receive medical treatment for your injuries and who can treat them. How much you can be paid will depend upon your medical condition -- if your injury isn't declared serious, then you can only receive up to $2,500 in PIP benefits.

Under the revisions to Florida's no-fault law (Florida Statute 627.736), you must initialize medical services and care within 14 days of the accident in order for to be eligible for benefits. The law is also strict about who can see you for your initial medical treatment.

Starting in 2013, your initial medical care must be:

  • provided by emergency medical services personnel, or
  • provided in a hospital, or
  • in a facility that owns or is wholly owned by a hospital, or
  • provided by a medical doctor, an osteopath, a dentist, or chiropractor.

For follow-up medical treatment to be covered under your PIP benefits, it must be based on a referral from the approved healthcare professional that provided you the initial medical care.  Follow up services may be provided by a:

  • Hospital
  • Ambulatory surgery center
  • Medical doctor
  • Osteopath
  • Dentist
  • Chiropractor
  • Physician's assistant
  • Advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP)
  • Physical therapist
  • Certain health care clinics

Under the changes to the no-fault coverage, massage therapy and acupuncture won't be covered, even if an authorized physician prescribes it.

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