LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – 3/24
Governor Desantis has signed House Bill 837 – It has passed
What is House Bill 837?
House Bill 837 is the most recent bill that has been proposed in the Florida Legislature. It focuses on dismantling the P.I.P. and Personal Injury field that currently serves Floridians injured in automobile accidents. This is an insurance company’s dream bill to protect their profits and reduce benefits & legal protections for Floridians when they need it the most. It is a bill that will destroy not only the medical field, but the legal industry that fights so hard to protect Floridians from the abusive practices of the insurance industry.
Although this bill was presented recently – NOW is the time to act. If this bill is not opposed on ALL fronts, then this bill could land squarely on the governor’s desk. Based on the most recent reports, the governor would sign the bill as is. This would be destructive to everyone’s medical practice and to the citizens of Florida who would have absolutely no recourse against greedy insurance companies.
As the days and weeks progress it is critical that you stay informed and on top of the latest developments of this bill, which we hope these newsletters will allow you to do. The most important thing you can do for your practices and fellow Floridians is to get involved. Talk to your representative, talk to your neighbors (most Floridians have no idea the rights that are about to be taken away from them), talk to those in your professional field and be ready to join and contribute to defeat this bill. One of the most powerful things you have is your voice, so find your legislator online and call and write to them until your voice is heard. Be ready with financial support for those who are organizing the campaigns to defeat these bills. I’m always available to keep you informed and give you the truth about what’s going on in Tallahassee with this bill. Keep following us on social media and keep an eye out for our newsletters with updates and calls to action!
– HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BILL –
The bill would repeal section 627.428 That is the section that allows attorneys to represent you in your fight against the insurance company on a contingency fee basis. Removal of this statute would make it impossible for your average American to obtain the necessary legal help to challenge the insurance company when they deny, delay, and/or underpay your claim.
The next portion of the bill is the rejection of the theory of comparative negligence here in Florida, where if the new law were to go into effect – Anyone that’s determined to be at 50% at fault can make no recovery at all. Again, hurting those citizens that have a comparative negligence fault accident.
It would reduce and/or eliminate any form of letters of protection, which allows medical providers to have a letter of protection to provide medical services and get paid at the end of a settlement. It would leave citizens in the state of Florida out in the cold or suffering for years while waiting for the hopes of a settlement that may never come. The restriction on the use of Letters of Protection will cause untold needless suffering for Floridians who are injured due to the fault of another.
“The proposed reforms would make it easier for insurance companies to avoid ‘bad-faith’ actions that arise when they are accused of unfairly denying or underpaying a customer’s claim. Under the measure, ‘mere negligence alone’ would be insufficient to constitute bad faith, and insurance companies would have 60 days to pay the claim or ‘correct the circumstances that gave rise to the alleged violation’ to avoid bad-faith liability, the analysis states.’” (www.floridabar.org)
In this increasingly difficult economic climate, this bill seeks to further reduce the amounts that medical providers are reimbursed – which will lead to less competent medical professionals to provide care for all Floridians.
The amount an insurance company would be responsible to pay would require explanation and evidence, which would cause another hurdle to get paid for medical services rendered. This would give insurance companies another avenue to deny, delay, and/or not pay medical bills.
What can you do?
SAY NO TO HOUSE BILL 837