Health providers and auto insurers are headed for a head-on collision in Tallahassee over the scheduled “sunsetting” of a law that requires that every auto policy in the state include “PIP” – personal injury protection.
The PIP law is, in effect, a form of health mandate for auto insurance policies. It insures some level of coverage for medical treatment that results from an auto accident. The trade-off is that auto insurance is more expensive than it otherwise would be.
Although I’m not comfortable with mandated health coverage, I’m not opposed to mandatory PIP coverage. Here’s my reasoning:
- The added cost of PIP is nothing like the cost of health insurance. Most families can afford it (State farm says it adds $360 per year on average) – and it’s worth it if there’s an accident.
- Owning a car is a matter of choice. Owning a body is not. There’s not escaping mandated health coverage, but people can choose not to own a car if they don’t want to pay for auto insurance that includes PIP.
Hospitals and doctors oppose letting the PIP provision die. They would lose revenue, gain more collection problems, and struggle even more with uninsured medical treatment. Auto insurers want the sun to set on PIP, since that would make it easier to sell insurance while simplifying claims administration.