Under Florida law PIP is primary over all other forms of insurance. What this means is that PIP must be used and exhausted before any other form of insurance will pay a medical bill. Thus, as an example, if someone is in a car crash and there are PIP benefits available, Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance would simply refuse to pay the bill saying that there is still PIP available and that they are not responsible for paying at this point in time. Thus, PIP is responsible for paying the bills. The benefit of PIP is that there usually is no deductible and no co-pay. This saves Floridians, most of which live pay check to pay check, millions of dollars a year over what their private health insurance would require them to pay. Most people who get in car crashes do not have the wherewithal to pay their private health insurance, a $5,000.00 deductible plus their co-pay much less if the case takes a couple years of the required treatment past the first of the year, the deductible portion starts all over again. Thus, PIP coverage is less and a simple savings of one car accident over meeting their deductible for health insurance more than pays for itself over the persons lifetime.
Also, while PIP only pays 80% of any bill, most health providers will agree to defer collection of the difference until after any type of lawsuit or case is resolved. Thus, again, it makes it much more financially viable for someone to seek the treatment that they need instead of having to sacrifice or simply go through significant amounts of pain or not getting diagnostic testing that’s necessary or not getting the surgical procedure that’s necessary because they simply cannot afford the co-pay or deductible with their private health insurance. Thus, PIP is a valuable resource for most Floridians and is a huge saving; however under the new PIP Statute if someone is only able to receive $2,500.00 in PIP benefits or no benefits at all, the burden of paying this is going to be shifted directly back to the injured person, saving the insurance company money but not providing the individual the benefits in which they are paid and would usually be entitled.