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Florida House of Representatives Democrats are seeking to include consideration of an extension of the Florida Motor Vehcile No Fault Law in the summer special legislative session. The “No Fault” law requires automobile insurance companies to include in all automobile insurance policies, required of car owners in Florida, $ 10,000 in property damagea coverage and $ 10,000 in “personal injury protection” coverage that covers medical bills and wage loss resulting from automobile accidents. The decades old law is set to expire October 1, 2007 unless extended by the legislature.
Democrats, along with most hospitals and other health care providers, are worried abou the economic impact of the expiration of the “No Fault” statute. Lawmakers supporting an extension of the “No Fault” law say that statistics show that 40% of accident victims treated in emergency rooms and trauma centers have no health insurance coverage other than the benefits provided by the “Florida Motor Vehicle No Fault Law” which covers 80% of the medical expenses and 60% of the wage loss resulting from an automobile accident, up to a maximum of $ 10,000. Many policies provide additional medical benefits, known as medical payments coverage, up to as much as $ 50,000 over and above the “PIP” or personal injury protection benefits mandated by the “No Fault Law”.
Hospital lobbyists, particularly, would like to see an extension of the law. They say that hospitals will end up with “pennies on the dollar” being paid on bills that would have otherwise been covered by “no fault” policies. Instead, Medicaid and group health insurance would pay substantially reduced rates. Or worse, the bills would be unpaid, resulting in hospitals being forced to sue victims personally for unpaid auto accident related bills.