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2011 Florida Statutes

SECTION 638
Direct payment for hospital, medical services.
F.S. 627.638
627.638 Direct payment for hospital, medical services.
(1) Any health insurance policy insuring against loss or expense due to hospital confinement or to medical and related services may provide for payment of benefits directly to any recognized hospital, licensed ambulance provider, doctor, or other person who provided the services, in accordance with the provisions of the policy. To comply with this section, the words “or to the hospital, licensed ambulance provider, doctor, or person rendering services covered by this policy,” or similar words appropriate to the terms of the policy, shall be added to applicable provisions of the policy.
1(2) Whenever, in any health insurance claim form, an insured specifically authorizes payment of benefits directly to any recognized hospital, licensed ambulance provider, physician, dentist, or other person who provided the services in accordance with the provisions of the policy, the insurer shall make such payment to the designated provider of such services. The insurance contract may not prohibit, and claims forms must provide an option for, the payment of benefits directly to a licensed hospital, licensed ambulance provider, physician, dentist, or other person who provided the services in accordance with the provisions of the policy for care provided. The insurer may require written attestation of assignment of benefits. Payment to the provider from the insurer may not be more than the amount that the insurer would otherwise have paid without the assignment.
(3) Any insurer who has contracted with a preferred provider, as defined in s. 627.6471(1)(b), for the delivery of health care services to its insureds shall make payments directly to the preferred provider for such services.
History.s. 581, ch. 59-205; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 487, 497, 809(2nd), ch. 82-243; s. 79, ch. 82-386; s. 1, ch. 85-160; s. 114, ch. 92-318; s. 4, ch. 2005-231; s. 2, ch. 2008-212; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2009-124.
1Note.Section 2, ch. 2009-124, provides that “[t]he amendments made by this act to s. 627.638(2), Florida Statutes, are repealed on July 1, 2012, if the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability finds, in a study to be presented to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by March 1, 2012, that the amendments made by this act have caused the third-party administrator of the state group health plan to suffer a net loss of physicians from its preferred provider plan network and, as a direct result, caused an increase in costs to the state group health plan. If such a finding is made, the text of s. 627.638(2), Florida Statutes, shall revert to that in existence on June 30, 2009, except that any amendments to such text enacted other than by this act shall be preserved and continue to operate to the extent that such amendments are not dependent upon the portions of such text which are repealed pursuant to this section.” Effective July 1, 2012, contingent on OPPAGA’s finding, subsection (2), as amended by s. 2, ch. 2009-124, will read:

(2) Whenever, in any health insurance claim form, an insured specifically authorizes payment of benefits directly to any recognized hospital, licensed ambulance provider, physician, or dentist, the insurer shall make such payment to the designated provider of such services, unless otherwise provided in the insurance contract. The insurance contract may not prohibit, and claims forms must provide an option for, the payment of benefits directly to a licensed hospital, licensed ambulance provider, physician, or dentist for care provided pursuant to s. 395.1041 or part III of chapter 401. The insurer may require written attestation of assignment of benefits. Payment to the provider from the insurer may not be more than the amount that the insurer would otherwise have paid without the assignment.