UPDATED: Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Tuesday, April 1

Apr 1, 2014


UPDATE:  Additional stories have been added.

To go directly to the section of your choice, click on a hyperlink below.  Other hyperlinks to meeting information, bills and news are noted in bold type.




Daily Florida Insurance-Related Events


    9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m–Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation (“DWC”) public meeting.  Receive comments related to possible changes to the Ambulatory Surgical Center Reimbursement Manual, including revisions regarding maximum reimbursement allowances established for specific procedure codes, electronic billing policies for payors and payees, and the Florida Workers’ Compensation Uniform Medical Treatment/Status Reporting Form (DWC-25).  To view the meeting notice, click here.


      3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.–Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance meeting. Agenda includes consideration of the following bills and proposed committee bills: 

      • CS/SM 1298 relating to Disaster Savings Account Act by Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security; Senator Jeff Brandes
      • SB 1494 relating to Civil Remedies Against Insurers by Senator John Thrasher



        Daily Florida Insurance-Related News


        Editorial:  Florida’s flood insurance experiment

        Call it Florida’s great flood insurance experiment.  The Senate last week passed a bill that’s supposed to make it easier for private companies to sell flood insurance in the state, Northwest Florida Daily News’ Editorial Board writes.


        High consumer demand in Florida on last day of Affordable Care Act enrollmen

        The six-month period to enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act ended on Monday much as it began in October: with computer problems that prevented consumers from signing up through the HealthCare.gov website, report Daniel Chang and Patricia Borns for the Miami Herald.


        Changes may be coming to Florida employee health insurance plans

        State of Florida workers may have to decide next year whether they want a health-insurance plan with more benefits and higher monthly premiums or a cheaper one with fewer benefits and more take-home pay, reports Jeff Buriew for the Tallahassee Democrat.


        Senate telemedicine plan to be heard by first committee of reference today

        A Senate committee will get the first crack at a bill on Tuesday that would lay the groundwork for the way telemedicine is conducted in the Sunshine State, Arek Sarkissian reports.


        Governor Scott wants inspection of federal hospitals

        Gov. Rick Scott wants state authorities to inspect federal hospitals that serve veterans, Associated Press reports via SaintPetersBlog.com.


        Federal judge rules Okeechobee pumping illegal

        A federal judge says pumping water from farmlands into public water supplies such as Florida’s Lake Okeechobee violates the Clean Water Act, reports the Associated Press via the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.


        Governor Scott signs Florida G.I. bill into law; will cost state $30 million in first year

        Florida’s Legislature made a priority of approving the state’s so-called G.I. Bill this spring, and Gov. Rick Scott followed suit Monday by signing the measure into law in Panama City, the heart of the military-rich Panhandle, reports John Kennedy for the Palm Beach Post.


        Florida Home Foreclosure Rate Falls But Still Triple National Average

        The residential foreclosure rate in Florida, which has the highest percentage of delinquent mortgages in the U.S., declined to 6.2 percent in January, according to a report by CoreLogic Inc. That’s down from 10.1 percent from a year earlier, Bloomberg’s Toluse Olorunnipa reports via Insurance Journal.


        Public records bill runs into criticism

        The Florida League of Cities warned Monday that a public records package that sped through the Senate last week and is starting to move in House committees could lead to costly legal action against local governments over access to government documents, The Florida Current’s Bill Cotterell reports.


        Bill allowing labor pools to pay with debit cards clears Senate panel

        Legislation allowing employers using worker pools hiring day laborers to pay their workers using debit cards or electronic transfers passed through the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee on Monday by a unanimous vote, The Florida Current’s Gray Rohrer reports.


        New York Regulators Say MetLife Fined $60 Million, to Cooperate in Probe of AIG

        MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, will pay $60 million after New York watchdogs found subsidiaries solicited business in the state without a license and made intentional misrepresentations to regulators, Bloomberg’s Zachary Tracer reports via Insurance Journal.


        Governors Show Support for State-Based Insurance Regulation

        Leadership from the NAIC thanked the National Governors Association for praising the “world-class” state-based system of insurance regulation in a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.  Read the National Governor’s Association Letter


        NAIC Releases 2013 Annual Report

        The NAIC released its 2013 Annual Report, “State-Based Insurance Regulation: The System at Work.”  The report uses the concept of gears to illustrate how regulators work together to power the complex system of state-based regulation.


        New York’s Top Court Rejects Claim that Personal Injuries Were Caused by Indoor Exposure to Mold

        New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, has rejected the claim of a resident in a New York City apartment building that her alleged personal injuries were caused by indoor exposure to dampness and mold. The court found that the plaintiff had not established that the relevant scientific community generally accepted that mold caused the adverse health effects complained of by the plaintiff, National Underwriter’s Steven Meyerowitz reports for PropertyCasualty360.com.


        States Collaborating on Rules to Address Earthquake Risks of Fracking

        Regulators from Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio met for the first time this month in Oklahoma City to exchange information on the man-made earthquakes and help states toughen their standards, Bloomberg reports via Insurance Journal.


        Oklahoma Bills Would Limit Liability of Shelters During Storms

        A pair of Oklahoma legislators says businesses, schools and churches that open their doors to passers-by during violent weather should be spared liability if their temporary guests are hurt or killed, reports the Associated Press via Insurance Journal.


        Mississippi Extends Trade Secret Protections for Research

        Mississippi lawmakers have extended trade-secret protections to universities and community colleges by exempting materials tied to any commercial, scientific or technical research from the state’s Open Records Act before the research is published, Jack Elliott Jr. reports for Insurance Journal.


        New York Workers’ Compensation Fraud Report a Wake-Up Call for Insurers and Employers; Cyber:  Security Vs. Privacy

        Reports of major fraud in the New York State workers’ compensation system should give the entire industry pause, and is a signal that insurers should expect pressure from employers and public officials for better audits of employers’ job-classification practices.  Arthur D. Postal reports for National Underwriter’s PropertyCasualty360.com.




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