Florida’s HB 119 intends to reduce car insurance fraud by reducing the maximum amount of money for non-emergency medical procedures. Florida, which has a mandatory no-fault requirement, leads the nation in phony car accidents, which are undertaken by individuals seeking to capitalize on their own or other drivers’ mandatory no-fault car insurance.
HB 119 is still being debated in the Florida legislature, but one company may already be planning to skirt the new law. Medical on Demand Staffing recently distributed advertisements to Tampa area chiropractors, offering to connect them to doctors who can quality an accident as an emergency, sometimes even if it was previously classified as non-emergency. Under HB 119, the mandatory no-fault coverage for emergency accidents is $10,000, but the maximum amount for non-emergency accidents is $2,500. The advertisements boldly proclaim “Don’t miss out on your $7,500” and some have said the ads suggest the company is intending to commit insurance fraud. Representatives of Medical on Demand Staffing refute these accusations, arguing that their doctors are qualified to classify injuries as emergency or non-emergency and that there’s no reason to believe those doctors would make false classifications.
Unfortunately for Florida, its continued problems with car insurance fraud, as well as its high auto theft rates, only increase the cost of Florida car insurance. Here’s hoping HB 119 can put a dent in the fraud.