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New insurance regulations may be a pain for car crash victims

7:54 PM, Dec 28, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Personal Insurance Protection changes in the state are going to impact everyone involved in a car accident and some doctors say they may be a real pain for victims.

"I had an issue with my back, a knee, a shoulder," said acupuncture patient Richard Devine.

He's an acupuncture believer.

"It was something I was always skeptical about, but I've gotten some real results from it," he said.

But under the new Personal Insurance Protection legislation passed in Florida, people involved in car accidents may no longer have acupuncture as a treatment option.

The new bill excludes acupuncture and massage therapy all together under the coverage plan.

Silver Chiropractic and Wellness in Riverside works with both acupuncturists and massage therapists, and owner Dr. Shane Silver said this new legislation is really going to impact them.

"Everything has its pros and cons, but right now, this legislation has a lot of gray areas," said Dr. Shane Silver.

Silver said they're not laying anyone off as they navigate the new rules and regulations in 2013.

But therapists working independently will have a really hard time with the changes.

"If you're an acupuncturist or a massage therapist, they're feeling the immediate full brunt and the worst of this legislation," he said.

Sponsors of the bill in Tallahassee say they were trying to weed out fraud in the insurance industry, and keep costs down for consumers.

But Silver said the new restrictions will just make it harder for accident victims to get care.

The new PIP bill also says people have to seek treatment within 14 days of the accident.

So if you try and file a claim on day 15, you have zero coverage.

"If you really dive in to the legislation, every type of doctor is going to be affected by this," he said.

Many doctors in the area are taking a wait and see approach to the new bill in the New Year, but clients say they don't want to wait.

"I get real results, I really do. People will ask me, oh you believe in that? And I really do, I believe in the results! I've really experienced change, a positive change," said Devine.

First Coast News

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