The New Jersey Supreme Court has finally decided to allow the state’s insurance regulator to start implementing a medical fee schedule for the expenses to be paid for by Personal Injury Protection policy or PIP.
According to reports, the Supreme Court decision supports the August decision made by a State Appeals Court. New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner, Neil N. Jasey, said in an interview that he is very happy and thankful for the decision made by the Supreme Court. According to him, he feels that many years of diligent work conducted by his Department have finally paid off, and the lengthy processes including important support and cooperation from many individuals from the insurance community, has finally bear fruit.
Commissioner Jasey adds that he and his team interprets the implementation of the PIP medical fee schedule as a way to control, if not minimize costs of medical bills and health care that comes with vehicle accidents. He said in a recent interview that the PIP fee schedule will sort of apply a downward force on auto insurance rates and will greatly benefit customers of New Jersey car insurance.
Reports from the Insurance Information Institute reveal that PIP costs in New Jersey have been severely going up due to uncontrolled costs in medical expenses. The rise in PIP costs in turn has caused an increase on car insurance premium rates. A study conducted by a major state insurance consultancy firm, shows that PIP costs in New Jersey have gone up by 12% from 2008 to 2009.
According to reports, this issue regarding PIP fee schedules rooted from a legal battle back in 2007 when a group of doctors and insurance providers filed a lawsuit against the State of New Jersey and accused of setting PIP fees that were way too minimal. Doctors claim that the money appropriated for PIP fees were insufficient and insurance companies complained of lost revenues due to unrecovered PIP costs. The Supreme Court judgment was backed up by major insurance providers. According to private insurers, the fee schedule is an excellent manifestation of the state’s efforts to reform the auto insurance market.
Local motorists group are also in full support of the court decision. One group representative said that consumers will greatly benefit from this decision, and more importantly, insurance companies will not be caused any harm as the fee schedule will regulate PIP costs – making sure that it is not too low and not too costly.