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ISSUED: 04/05/2002 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COURT RULES: REGULATION 68 IN EFFECT - UNANIMOUS WIN FOR NEW YORK DRIVERS

Stay Denied, Serio Calls For An End To Litigation

Superintendent Gregory V. Serio today announced that the Insurance Department’s fraud-fighting Regulation 68 will be implemented immediately, following an Appellate decision lifting a stay on the Regulation imposed last month. Superintendent Serio also called for an end to the litigation over the initiative so New York drivers can reap the benefits of the Regulation.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, we applaud the Court’s decision to allow Regulation 68 to take effect immediately," said Serio. "This regulation, together with the Department’s legislation to combat auto insurance fraud, will go a long way to stabilize rates, assure continued availability of coverage and assist in the de-population of the Assigned Risk Plan. This is not just good news for New York drivers, it is great news for them."

On February 19th, a lower court upheld the legality of Regulation 68 and the Superintendent’s powers to impose time limits for submission of medical bills by providers to insurers. However, a temporary stay was imposed the following day pending a hearing on whether the Regulation should be delayed. Today’s decision denied the request for a longer stay, making the Regulation effective immediately.

The Department plans the following:

  • Provide guidance to insurers on Regulation 68 and how it should be implemented;
  • Undertake an immediate review of all rates filed or approved for new and renewal business in light of the court’s decision to allow Regulation 68 to be implemented;
  • Begin consumer outreach to ensure that consumers understand the changes that Regulation 68 requires including coordinating with the Consumer Protection Board and consumer groups; and
  • Review companies’ claims operations to assure that they are fully staffed and able to manage the new timeframes contained in the Regulation.

Regulation 68 institutes new timeframes for accident victims to report a claim and medical providers to submit claims for payment--eliminating existing loopholes that have been exploited as opportunities for fraud and abuse. It reduces the time medical providers have from each treatment to submit claims for payment from 180 days to 45 days while it maintains the amount of time the carrier has to pay on claims.

 

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