House Bill 119 is a new insurance policy law that will be effective on January 1, 2013. This house bill specifically defines the health insurance coverage of people seeking medical treatments, as well as exclusions for the insurance claims.

The current PIP policy includes massage therapy and acupuncture as a covered benefit of the insured. Until now, massage therapy is still covered and patients may still file for reimbursements of this type of therapy. However, in the implementation of House Bill 119, massage therapy along with acupuncture is no longer a medical benefit of insured individuals.

House bill states that medical benefits do not cover massage therapy as stated in s. 480.003. Acupuncture is also a non-covered benefit under s. 457.102. The medical benefits from acupuncture and massage therapy are not covered regardless of the entity, person or professional performing acupuncture and massage. A licensed massage therapist or acupuncturist may also not take refund. Specifically, this House Bill 119 denies payment for acupuncture and massage therapy regardless of the health care professional rendering it.

The massage services may still be invoiced until December 31, 2012, a day before the effectiveness of House Bill 119.

The effectiveness of non-inclusion of massage and acupuncture will already be taken into practice regardless of its inclusion in most insurance policies. Patients seeking massage therapy or acupuncture can still get the therapies, but on their own expenses.

Other exclusions of House Bill 119

Massage therapy and acupuncture are not the only medical therapies that are excluded from insurance coverage. Occupational therapists and podiatric physicians were also excluded from taking reimbursements for services given even way back January 1, 2008.

Chiropractic care is still included in the coverage with up to $2,500 only for non-emergency medical conditions treatment.

Prior to the effectivity of the previous bill on January 1, 2008, all remedial therapies was still included as a medical benefit, provided that they are permitted and recognized by laws in Florida. This includes massage, acupuncture and even faith healing. It also captures all health care providers with no imposed limitations.

Issues of House Bill 119

There are certain issues in the implementation of HB 119 in 2013. These include:

Impairment of Contracts

PIP policies are a contract made by the insured individual and the insurer. Most of the PIP policies include the coverage of most remedial therapies including massage and acupuncture. However, because of HB 119, PIP policies regarding coverage of massage therapy and acupuncture will no longer take effect as response to House Bill 119. Thereby, contracts made by the insurer and the insured may no longer have effect in certain points.

HB 119 is considered a complicated Bill

HB 119 was considered complicated by other people and a lot of issues has arouse in its implementation. However, lawsuits against the Bill may need to be postponed until the effectiveness of it.

The major effects of House Bill 119 involve the determination of an emergency medical condition within 14 days of injury by only doctors and hospital owned facilities. Emergency medical conditions may be able to get up to $10,000 coverage. On the other hand, non-emergency medical conditions can be assessed by hospital facilities and doctors including chiropractic physicians and it can only get up to $2,500 coverage for the treatment of non-emergency medical conditions.

What do you think of this new bill, agree or disagree? Either way, Dr. Mohr, your Tampa chiropractor will continue providing excellent service to everyone in the Wesley Chapel, Tampa Palms, New Tampa and surrounding areas.