We wanted to bring to your attention a piece of legislature, the Kentucky Senate Bill (SB) 121, which fortunately did not pass the Kentucky Senate house this time. This bill concerns personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and seeks to amend KRS 304.39-020 which defines The Commonwealth of Kentucky as a “no-fault state.” Although it’s already gone through an interesting journey, we expect this legislative agenda will surface again.
After noticing opposition to this bill, insurance lobbyists convinced legislators to attach the requirement to study the PIP medical provider fee schedule to be completed by the department of insurance by November 15th, 2018. Then, they attempted to have a State and Local Government Committee hear the issue, which is not the normal protocol. This committee should not have jurisdiction over this matter. So, why are they fighting to make this happen in a sneaky manner? The answer lies in asking how this bill could affect you and your family members.
Why The Kentucky Senate Bill 121 Matters
In short, this bill would severely limit the medical care that auto injury patients receive, which includes a patient’s freedom to choose their provider and for the provider to choose the best treatment for their patient. The service level and options available would be greatly reduced.
SB 121, if it had been passed in the House, would have allowed the insurance company to determine what treatment plan is reasonable. This could delay treatment while an insurance company decides your medical care. Equally disturbing is the lack of explanation as to how the insurance company will make these life-changing decisions. The bill would not have provided guidance on who will be doing the exam either. Will it be a medically trained professional or someone working for the insurance company ready to rubber stamp a denial?
Inserting keywords such as “appropriate” and “reasonable” into the bill without clear definitions opens the diagnosis, treatment, and compensation up to interpretation. Who would have the final say on what constitutes appropriate? An insurance adjuster? This could very well be the case if this bill is eventually ratified in Kentucky. In short, this bill would pad the pockets of insurance companies even more while negatively affecting the type of care you can get after injury.
How You Can Combat SB 121
For now, this bill is at a standstill. But we expect it to come back around in front of legislators, possibly within the year. What can you do about this bill? You can contact your legislators. This is an important part of our role as residents and voters of our state and country. Make your voice heard and have your concerns addressed. In fact, you can use the instructions below to be heard on any important legislature:
CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS (use your personal phone)
- Call the Legislature Hotline: 1-800-372-7181.
- A clerk will answer. All they do is take messages for legislators about whether constituents like, or don’t like, a particular bill.
- They will ask for your name, city/state/zip. They will know who your Senate & House legislators are.
- Let them know you strongly APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of a specific bill and that you want your legislators to vote accordingly.
- They will ask you if you want to leave any comments. It’s helpful for you to give them even more reasons why.
EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATORS (use your personal email)
- Go to www.lrc.ky.gov
- Click on Who’s My Legislator
- Write down your thoughts and send them by email
Don’t stop there. Share your concerns on social media, have a conversation with your neighbors, your family, and your church. Remember that your voice does count. Legislators have to listen to their constituents if they want to remain in office come election time.
Don’t give in to apathy. As citizens of the United States, we have the privilege and the duty to be involved in issues that shape our Republic and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.