With a special legislature session underway, Florida legislators would reportedly do well to consider the PIP insurance fraud package that
failed to pass in the regular legislative session.
“The House was instrumental in bringing PIP fraud, workers’ compensation and credit scoring to the special session with its debate on these issues,” said James Taylor, southeastern regional manager of the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII). “In the process, however, the original language of the PIP fraud bill was significantly diluted. We encourage the Senate to restore the language of the original House version of the fraud
package, which will more effectively fight fraud in Florida.”
The House amended H.B. 27A last week by eliminating several provisions that would make it easier to prosecute fraud, including repealing a $15 increase in the MGA fee which would have provided additional funding for anti-fraud investigations and prosecutions.
NAII is encouraging both the House and Senate to adopt the original version, S.B. 32A, agreed upon by legislators earlier last week after the Banking and Insurance Committee approved the Senate package.
S.B. 32A sunsets PIP in 2007 to force negotiations toward an eventual PIP fix, and expands the demand letter and takes other incremental reform steps in the interim.
Also up for discussion in the special session is H.B. 25A, a workers’
compensation reform package. During debate last week, House leaders fended off amendments that would have reportedly weakened the bill. Key provisions of the package include elimination of hourly attorney fees and a tougher definition for catastrophic injury to curb the rate of permanent-total disability claims.
Insurers estimate passage of the workers’ compensation package could reduce rates by as much as 15 percent, plus another 4 percent in construction. The bill is strongly supported by the state business coalition.
Although originally convened to deal with the proposed state budget, Florida Governor Jeb Bush called for expansion of the session to include consideration of the House’s workers’ compensation package.
The special session is scheduled to end May 27.
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