Senate Banking and Insurance Approves Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Cash Build-Up Factor Bill

Feb 21, 2018

During its final meeting of the 2018 Regular Legislative Session yesterday, February 20, 2018, the Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance advanced SB 1454, a bill that would eliminate the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund cash build-up factor.  

Sponsored by Senator Jeff Brandes, the bill was passed by a vote of 8 to 3, with Senators Rob Bradley, Annette Taddeo and Doug Broxson voting against it.  SB 1454 has two more of its three committees to go, while its House counterpart, HB 97, has one more committee. 

The cash build-up factor is collected in addition to premiums paid to the FHCF by policyholders of residential property insurance with coverage for losses from wind.

Other insurance-related bills passed during yesterday’s meeting include:

SB 1494, which would require a pharmacist to inform customers of potential lower-cost generic equivalent alternatives for their prescriptions, as well as whether the customer’s cost-sharing obligation exceeds the retail price of his or her prescription.  The bill, which passed unanimously, would also require pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”) to register biennially with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.  Further, PBM contracts with insurers or HMOs would require the PBM to update maximum allowable cost information every seven calendar days.  SB 1494 would prohibit any contract between a PBM and a health insurer or health maintenance organization from requiring a customer to pay an amount that exceeds the applicable cost-sharing amount or the retail price of the drug in the absence of prescription drug coverage. 

SB 1494 must still pass the Senate Committee on Appropriations before proceeding to the Senate Floor. 

Its House counterpart, HB 351, unanimously passed its final House committee on February 15 and is now ready for the House Floor.

Sponsored by Senator Gary Farmer, SB 1568 would revise provisions of law relating to workers’ compensation prohibited acts, along with insurance fraud law relating to employees and employers.  The bill would require employers to comply with specified federal laws relating to immigration and employment. It would also repeal a prohibition for an employer to knowingly participate in the creation of an employment relationship in which the employee has used any fraudulent statement as evidence of identity.  Importantly, SB 1568 would revise the prohibited acts that constitute insurance fraud to require that fraudulent statements must be relevant to the claimant’s eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.  The bill, which has two more committees to go, passed by a vote of 6 to 4, with Senators Rob Bradley, Doug Broxson, George Gainer and Denise Grimsley registering their dissent.

SB 1866 by Senator Broxson relating to Loss-Sensitive Workers’ Compensation Insurance Programs passed unanimously with no resistance.  The bill would amend Florida’s workers’ compensation rating law to allow qualified insurers to issue a guaranteed cost workers’ compensation insurance policy that is accompanied by a qualified loss-sensitive program of reinsurance.

To access yesterday’s meeting materials, including audio and video replays, click here.

Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Colodny Fass.

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