Peeking Around the Corner
As many of us are prone to do, we work as hard as we can to anticipate what will happen to us beyond the moment we are in – what will happen at our children’s baseball game? What will our boss ask us to do in the coming year? How much will it cost us to send our children to college? Or for that matter, we think about what we should fix for dinner while we are eating lunch! It is along these lines that I am writing you this message. Lisa Miller and Associates not only follows auto insurance and property insurance as our passion, but we are also following health insurance, worker’s compensation and many other lines of coverage that present themselves. We have a lot of peeking around the corner to see how we can get ready for the coming months in the regulatory and legislative arena. So keep reading to see what we think will happen as we peek around the corner. The legislature is in town this week for committee meetings so after the meetings conclude, we should have a “peek” at what 2013 will hold for the insurance industry.
The Select Committee on the federal healthcare act convened its first meeting this week. Chairman Joe Negron, Republican senator from Florida’s Treasure Coast, discussed that Medicaid has crowded out Florida’s ability to fund education and transportation as Medicaid comprises $21 billion of Florida’s $70 billion budget – over 30% of our budget and the fastest growing component of our budget. He asked that we observe 3 guiding principles:
– protect individual choice – as he said, “healthcare is personal.”
– limit the regulatory burden on Florida’s businesses
– promote competition and value in healthcare as Floridians make choices
I encourage each of you to scroll to the bottom of this note and read the remarks by healthcare staff members including the fact that Florida will have to find another $300 million to fund the expansion ofover 1 million participants in medicaid after 2016.
I asked political observers who attended today’s meeting what they think the Legislature will do when the 2013 session concludes the end of April 2013. One said, “How far can they continue to kick this can down the road. Not much farther. Florida has to decide if they want to create their own exchange or come under the federal government’s watch. My prediction? Florida will do its own thing and will embrace its very own exchange but then, make major cuts to education to pay for it.”
Governor Rick Scott gave a speech to the Florida Chamber of Commerce last week in Orlando. Please see his speech at http://www.flgov.com/2012/11/30/governor-scott-addresses-insurance-summit/ where the Governor stressed three prongs:
1) increase competition in the marketplace;
2) promote legislative and regulatory certainty in order to attract new capital; and
3) continue taking aggressive steps to eliminate fraud.
The speech was most significant for those of you who handle form filings. The Governor announced the attached, revised order that allows insurance companies to “self certify” or file a form filing under the expedited forms filing procedure. The attached revision DELETES the requirement the expedited form filing comply with all court rulings and case law. The Governor said, “The self-certification process will no longer require the “certification of compliance” with certain case law, a common sense reform to an unneeded bureaucratic requirement. This simple change creates a meaningful “use and file” system in Florida. It will help companies cut costs and create savings that can be passed on to Florida families.”
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
In addition, Citizens will be presenting facts about its surplus notes/loan program to the House Insurance subcommittee at 3 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2012. The agenda is below and you can check http://thefloridachannel.org/schedules/ and scan Tuesday December 4 media broadcast index.
Introduction of Members and Staff
Introductory Remarks by Representatives of the Following Agencies:
– Department of Financial Services
– Office of Insurance Regulation
– Office of Financial Regulation
Presentation and Discussion on the Following:
– Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Depopulation Programs and Proposals
Lastly, there is a rule hearing on the wind mitigation issue in light of an administrative law judge’s recent order that invalidated wind mitigation credits for existing construction but sustained them for new construction. The Office of Insurance Regulation has appealed the order. Stay tuned for an update in the coming weeks.
Peeking around the corner, it appears there will be modest property insurance legislative proposals and there will be no appetite for controversial legislation that will make headlines like the surplus lines bill or Senate Bill 408. I’m happy to share the reasons for our thoughts as we journey toward 2013.
We have been watching the auto insurance debate and the many rate filings that have been submitted in light of the October 1, 2012 “rate rollback” mandate which requires insurers to file a rate filing decreasing rates by 10% or explain why they can’t meet that threshold. There are almost 200 filing submitted today and see http://www.floir.com/Sections/PandC/ProductReview/PIPInfo.aspx and click on the red heading called, “Approved PIP Filings.” Please let me know if I can walk you through the other 130 or so filings still in queue at the Office of Insurance Regulation.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
For those of you who want to think beyond the moment and peek around the corner with Lisa Miller & Associates, please let us hear from you.
We appreciate all you do – every day!