Florida is one of the last remaining No-Fault states. Effective January 1, 2013, Florida has the most confusing No-Fault Law.
Simply stated the highlights or lowlights are as follows:
1. An individual must seek initial medical services and care within 14 days after a motor vehicle accident in order to qualify for any benefits.
2. PIP will cover up to $10,000 in benefits only if the determination is made that the patient had an “Emergency Medical Condition”. Otherwise benefits may be limited to $2,500.
3. Only a Medical Doctor or other qualified specialists can make the determination that the patient had an “Emergency Medical Condition”.
In an incredible twist of irony, a car accident victim who believes that he/she has been injured needs to go to the hospital and have expensive tests performed(that may or may not be covered) to determine whether a medical emergency exists that would entitle him/her to $10,000.00 of insurance benefits. Absurd!!!!!!!
Florida Statute 627.736 states:
(1) Required benefits.–An insurance policy complying with the security requirements of s. 627.733 must provide personal injury protection to the named insured, relatives residing in the same household, persons operating the insured motor vehicle, passengers in the motor vehicle, and other persons struck by the motor vehicle and suffering bodily injury while not an occupant of a self-propelled vehicle, subject to subsection (2) and paragraph (4)(e), to a limit of $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits resulting from bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle as follows:
(a) Medical benefits.–Eighty percent of all reasonable expenses for medically necessary medical, surgical, X-ray, dental, and rehabilitative services, including prosthetic devices and medically necessary ambulance, hospital, and nursing services if the individual receives initial services and care pursuant to subparagraph 1. within 14 days after the motor vehicle accident. The medical benefits provide reimbursement only for:
1. Initial services and care that are lawfully provided, supervised, ordered, or prescribed by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, a dentist licensed under chapter 466, or a chiropractic physician licensed under chapter 460 or that are provided in a hospital or in a facility that owns, or is wholly owned by, a hospital. Initial services and care may also be provided by a person or entity licensed under part III of chapter 401 which provides emergency transportation and treatment.
2. Upon referral by a provider described in subparagraph 1., followup services and care consistent with the underlying medical diagnosis rendered pursuant to subparagraph 1. which may be provided, supervised, ordered, or prescribed only by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, a chiropractic physician licensed under chapter 460, a dentist licensed under chapter 466, or, to the extent permitted by applicable law and under the supervision of such physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractic physician, or dentist, by a physician assistant licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed under chapter 464. Followup services and care may also be provided by any of the following persons or entities:
a. A hospital or ambulatory surgical center licensed under chapter 395.
b. An entity wholly owned by one or more physicians licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, chiropractic physicians licensed under chapter 460, or dentists licensed under chapter 466 or by such practitioners and the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of such practitioners.
c. An entity that owns or is wholly owned, directly or indirectly, by a hospital or hospitals.
d. A physical therapist licensed under chapter 486, based upon a referral by a provider described in this subparagraph.
e. A health care clinic licensed under part X of chapter 400 which is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the American Osteopathic Association, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc., or
(I) Has a medical director licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 460;
(II) Has been continuously licensed for more than 3 years or is a publicly traded corporation that issues securities traded on an exchange registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission as a national securities exchange; and
(III) Provides at least four of the following medical specialties:
(A) General medicine.
(C) Orthopedic medicine.
(D) Physical medicine.
(E) Physical therapy.
(F) Physical rehabilitation.
(G) Prescribing or dispensing outpatient prescription medication.
(H) Laboratory services.
3. Reimbursement for services and care provided in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. up to $10,000 if a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, a dentist licensed under chapter 466, a physician assistant licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed under chapter 464 has determined that the injured person had an emergency medical condition.
4. Reimbursement for services and care provided in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. is limited to $2,500 if any provider listed in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. determines that the injured person did not have an emergency medical condition.
5. Medical benefits do not include massage as defined in s. 480.033 or acupuncture as defined in s. 457.102, regardless of the person, entity, or licensee providing massage or acupuncture, and a licensed massage therapist or licensed acupuncturist may not be reimbursed for medical benefits under this section.