Minn. Senate Committee Passes PIP Reform Bill

March 29, 2004

Insurers are optimistic that a Minnesota Senate bill designed to curb fraud abuses in auto personal injury protection (PIP) will move quickly through the legislature, according to the Des Plaines, Ill.-based Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

The bill failed last week in the Senate Commerce Committee on a tie vote with two committee members absent. This week, the bill was amended to contain only a provision that would prohibit the practice of allowing medical providers to bill accident victims for whatever wasn’t awarded in a no-fault arbitration proceeding, according to PCI. The bill as amended passed on a 7 to 5 vote and was referred to the Senate floor.

The committee did not have time to take testimony on a related bill, SF 2877, which includes specific medical cost control measures. Committee Chair Sen. Linda Scheid, a Democrat, announced before adjournment that she would be conducting a full-blown Commerce Committee interim study of all cost drivers in the no-fault auto law, including the tort thresholds. Sen. Scheid stated that in upcoming weeks she would be detailing how this interim study would be conducted.

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