Office of Insurance Regulation

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Florida regulators are approving a 9.5 percent drop in insurance rates charged to the state's business owners to cover their employees.

Workers' Compensation Rate Cut Under Consideration

Oct 19, 2017
Mercedes Marler (FLICKR)

Fewer workers are filing workers' compensation claims, helping lower the costs Florida employers will pay for insurance next year.

Florida’s Outgoing Insurance Commissioner Reflects On Job

Jun 13, 2016

Kevin McCarty, Florida's longtime insurance commissioner, is leaving the Office of Insurance Regulation during the first week of July.

Workers Comp Rates Reduced 4.7 Percent

Nov 16, 2015

Florida employers will see overall workers-compensation insurance rates drop 4.7 percent as of Jan. 1, according to an order issued Thursday by the state Office of Insurance Regulation.

Workers Comp Rates To Drop 5.1 Percent

Nov 4, 2015

State regulators issued an order Tuesday that calls for overall workers-compensation insurance rates to drop by 5.1 percent next year.

Workers Comp Premiums Could Be Trimmed

Aug 24, 2015

State regulators will consider a proposal to reduce workers-compensation insurance premiums by an average of 2.2 percent in 2016, according to documents released Friday.

Credit Florida's Second Judicial Circuit

Florida Healthcare Plus, a Medicare HMO with 10,000 members, was declared insolvent Wednesday and turned over to state authorities.

In such cases, state and federal officials help patients move into other health plans or to traditional Medicare. More information is expected on that today or Friday.

The state Division of Financial Services took over the Coral Gables-based plan immediately after the order was issued Wednesday by Circuit Court Judge George S. Reynolds in Tallahassee. DFS is expected to sell off the company’s assets Jan. 1.

Many Florida shoppers at Medicare.gov will find Day Break and Sunrise among their lowest-priced HMO options. But if they call to enroll in either one, they’re out of luck.

Florida Healthcare Plus, a small Coral Gables company that sponsors the two Medicare Advantage plans, is under state and federal suspension, unable to sign up new members during the current open-enrollment season for Medicare, Oct. 15-Dec. 7. Being frozen at this time of year can be a death sentence for such plans.

The man who masterminded an $800 million insurance scam that fleeced tens of thousands of investors in one of Florida's all-time largest fraud schemes was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Robert Scola gave Joel Steinger, 64, credit for pleading guilty to avoid a lengthy and costly trial and said Steinger's multiple medical problems — he appeared in court in a wheelchair, with an oxygen tank — argued against the maximum 50-year sentence sought by prosecutors.

FL Office of Insurance Regulation

Editor's Note: This story has been corrected regarding the way state and federal agencies report Affordable Care Act insurance enrollment . 

The number of Floridians enrolled in individual health plans under the Affordable Care Act in June was 866,485, according to new state data compiled from insurers’ reports. The carriers expect enrollment to rise to 1.1 million next year, an increase of 23 percent.

Avalere.com

Some premiums on the federal health exchange for 2015 are going up. Some are going down. That's all the public really knows right now.

But it appears that the big idea behind the marketplace -- creating competition -- may be working, since three new companies have joined the 11 early adopters, according to Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation.

The OIR released a forecast for a 13 percent premium hike for 2015 plans on the federal marketplace (Healthcare.gov) earlier this week.

Lottie Watts

How much will it cost Floridians to buy coverage next year on Healthcare.gov? Lots of people want to know, but the insurers are keeping the prices secret in an unprecedented way.

(Editor's note: This is a conversation between WUSF All Things Considered Host Craig Kopp and Health News Florida Editor Carol Gentry.)

Profits for Florida’s HMOs dropped sharply in 2013, with a nearly 31 percent reduction in combined profits, according to the South Florida Business Journal. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported profits at $933.8 million in 2012 and $648 million in 2013.

A Florida bill that would forbid insurance companies from refusing to serve or charging higher rates to applicants based on their ownership of a firearm has been sent to Gov. Rick Scott to sign.

The measure passed the House 74-44 on Tuesday. The bill also prohibits an insurer from disclosing information related to the ownership of weapons by a client without the consent of the insured. It extends to both existing and new policies.

Acather96 / Wikimedia Commons

A report from Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation says the rates for personal injury protection insurance are declining because of a recent state law that requires insurers to lower premiums, or provide strong justification for why they’re not charging less.

OIR's preliminary analysis of the rates submitted by insurance companies that write policies for 75 percent of Florida drivers says since 2012, there has been an estimated average statewide savings in personal injury protection (PIP) premiums of 13.2 percent. 

The chief navigator for Healthcare.gov plans for Southwest Florida says a state report on costs that Florida families have to pay for health insurance greatly overstates the premiums.

"Their numbers were very high," said Lynne Thorp, who at the request of Health News Florida ran the numbers on the first case that was presented to a legislative committee on Thursday. "I can't figure out where they got them."

Acather96 / Wikimedia Commons

Committees in both the House and Senate are considering a call to get rid of the state’s “no-fault” auto insurance coverage, and replace it with a system that would force the insurer of the at-fault  driver to pay. 

Such a system would require drivers to carry a different kind of coverage, replacing personal injury protection (PIP) with bodily injury.

An auto-insurance company owned by the founder of the “1-800-Ask-Gary” referral service has been barred from writing new policies, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. Dr. Gary Kompothecras’ Sarasota-based AGIC Inc. is fighting with the state Office of Insurance Regulation over allegations that it doesn't have enough funds to pay future claims.

In other business news:

In his Saturday address, President Obama complained that critics of the Affordable Care Act are trying to "gum up the works" to keep the health law from succeeding as implementation of its major features nears on Jan. 1, as Politico reports.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty says there's no need for the state to regulate health premiums because the Affordable Care Act has a rule that keeps them under control. 

In a discussion with the Orlando Sentinel editorial board, McCarty said the ACA contains a "self-regulator" that limits the amount of the premium that companies can keep for administrative expenses and profits. If insurers spend too little of the premium on health care, he said, they have to return it to the customers who overpaid -- individuals and employers.

Associated Press

Members of the all-Republican Florida Cabinet -- Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater -- have approved disclosure forms that insurance companies will need to send out to policyholders if their premiums will be affected by the federal Affordable Care Act, the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.

Florida's average increase in health-insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act for 2014 will be in the range of just 5 to 6 percent, Office of Insurance Regulation officials said Tuesday.

That is not out of line with past years, and the new law will require health policies to cover more than many do now.

Under a new law passed by the state legislature this spring, Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation will no longer have authority over rate increases, the Times/Hearld Tallahassee Bureau reports. Instead, the state is leaving such regulation to the federal government, which critics of the state law say lacks the authority and experience to handle it.

Was U.S. Senator Bill Nelson right when he said Gov. Rick Scott had turned down a $1 million grant that would have enabled state government to regulate carrier rates until the new health law.

Yes, PolitiFact says.

Ten Florida health insurers have filed documents indicating they want to compete for shoppers on the Affordable Care Act marketplace when it opens Oct. 1, state records indicate.  However, it is not clear whether all of them will follow through or receive federal approval.

The list has not been released by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) nor the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Senate Bill 1842 has made it to Gov. Rick Scott's desk, but it should go no further, The Tampa Bay Times editorial board says.  If signed, it will place the public at great risk of rate hikes on health insurance.

Universal Health Care executives overstated assets and submitted "misleading financial statements" to the state and a major creditor, according to state documents released Thursday by the Office of Insurance Regulation.

Meanwhile, Universal's founder, president and CEO, Dr. Akshay "A.K." Desai,  has resigned his post as finance chairman for the Republican Party of Florida.