Kevin McCarty

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.

Kevin McCarty, who helped guide Florida's fragile insurance market in the wake of eight hurricanes a decade ago, announced Tuesday that he is resigning as the state's insurance commissioner.

Florida Blue, the largest health insurer in the state, says it will reinstate 300,000 policies it was planning to cancel, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. Bowing to pressure, on Thursday President Barack Obama announced that individual policyholders who saw their insurance policies cancelled because they didn’t meet the standards under the Affordable Care Act could in fact keep their policies if the company was willing to offer them.

The House and Senate sponsors of the law that removed Florida insurance officials' ability to regulate health-insurance rates for two years said they stand by their decision, which has come under increasing criticism by consumer groups and newspaper editorial boards. 

PolitiFact.com

The state of Florida has not exactly been warm and welcoming to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- better known as Obamacare.  

Choice of doctors, hospitals and insurers in rural areas is limited now, and that won’t change right away when the federal health exchange opens on Oct. 1. But every county in Florida will have access to one or more plans from Florida Blue, formerly known as Blue Cross & Blue Shield, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty is holding a public hearing today to discuss next year's health insurance rates, which are expected to climb sharply in the individual-purchase market. The public hearing is being televised and live-streamed by The Florida Channel today at 1 p.m., according to a release from the Office of Insurance Regulation.

Only a small fraction of Floridians are in the individual market.  Most insured Floridians -- aside from the millions enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid -- are covered by their employers as a large group (more than 50). 

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.