Tuesday, 08 January 2013 00:23

New Insurance Laws Take Effect in 2013

A number of states have new insurance-related laws that will take effect in 2013. Visit InsuranceJournal.com for more information.

The California workers’ comp benefit delivery system will undergo changes in 2013 as part of SB 863, the Workers’ Compensation Reform Package, which passed in the 2012 legislative session. SB 863 is intended to reduce system costs as a set-off for increased worker indemnity benefits. SB 863 is designed to contain costs in several ways, while increasing permanent disability (PD) benefits for workers. Two goals of the bill were to change the way in which the system deals with PD, and how medical liens and billing disputes are handled.

The Sunshine State’s HB 119 Motor Vehicle Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott last May. The bill, which has been described as the most significant auto insurance law in years, seeks to clamp down on alleged abuse and fraud, and improve the state’s no-fault PIP system. The medical benefits provisions of the law took effect on Jan. 1, 2013. They include the requirement that accident victims report an auto-related injury and seek treatment within 14 days. Policyholders could receive up to $10,000 in benefits for emergency medical care, and $2,500 for less serious injuries.

New Jersey
The Garden State planned to implement new rules regarding motor vehicle PIP insurance on Jan. 4, 2013. Proposed changes included adding more procedures to the physicians’ fee schedule to slow rising auto insurance costs. Critics say the new fee schedule limits the types of procedures that could be reimbursed at ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), and sets hospital outpatient surgical facility fees higher than ASC fees for certain services. The N.J. Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers is seeking a stay from the court on the implementation of the new rules.

Beginning in January, SB 0275 will allow state agencies that issue occupational or professional licenses to provide expedited temporary licenses to service members and their spouses who meet certain requirements. This could make it easier for military veterans to enter the insurance profession.

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