2012 Key Insurance Bills

Updated through July 1, 2012

PASSED by Legislature and approved by Governor:
** A bill may have one or more effective dates that are different from the date the bill becomes law
  • PIP Reform - HB 119Among the many reforms, an insured must obtain treatment within 14 days in an ambulance or hospital, or from a physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractic physician, or dentist. The full $10,000 PIP medical benefit is available only if a physician, osteopathic physician, dentist, or a supervised physician’s assistant or advanced registered nurse practitioner determines that the insured has an “emergency medical condition” as defined in the bill. Otherwise, the PIP medical benefit is limited to $2,500. Reimbursement for massage and acupuncture is eliminated completely.
Reforms attorney fees: prohibits a multiplier, makes the offer of judgment statute applicable to PIP, and creates standards for awarding attorney’s fees. Examinations under oath are retained, and an insured's compliance with policy conditions is required to receive benefits. 
HB 119 has July 1, 2012 effective date, but most reforms are effective January 1, 2013.** For more, see House Message SummarySenate staff bill summary, House staff final bill analysis, and fill bill language Fla. Laws Ch 2012-197.
    • Citizens - regular assessments HB 1127 - Decreases Citizens regular assessments to 2%, down from a maximum of 18% (current law), shifting balance of deficit (if any) to emergency assessment mechanism. HB 1127 is effective July 1, 2012.** For more see bill summary and bill language Fla. Laws Ch. 2012-80.
    • Commercial Lines - HB 941. Final bill contains measures from separate bills:
    (1) Affiliate transfers - permits easier movement of commercial lines insurance policies to affiliated licensed insurers at renewal (from original HB 941).
    (2) Workers compensation certificate of exemption process - excludes non-construction members of limited liability companies from the definition of “employee” (unless they elect to be included), thus exempting them from workers compensation coverage, and makes other changes in the exemption application process (from HB 307).
    (3) Excess Profits - eliminates the required refund of “excess profits" for workers compensation carriers (from HB 4169). See Excess profit ban is lifted for workers' comp carriers (The Current, Feb. 15, 2012).  
    HB 941 is effective July 1, 2012.**  For more, see bill summary and bill language HB 941 er
    • Omnibus (Miscellaneous) Insurance, Captives, Alien insurers - HB 1101Final bill makes miscellaneous revisions to Insurance Code related to property insurance, motor vehicle insurance, travel insurance, agent license exams, and reinsurance summary reports. Included also is modernization of captive insurer licensing (from HB 379 and SB 610). See Omnibus insurance bill matures in week 7, 2012. The following changes were made in the bill that passed: 
    (1) Enables corporations not-for-profit self-insurance funds to purchase health, accident, and hospitalization coverage for its members on a group basis.
    (2) Adds more exemptions to certificate of authority requirement for alien insurers who do not sell to U.S. residents (from HB 409). 
    (3) Amends section 627.6699, Florida Statutes, related to the employee health care access act. 
    (4) Omits from the final bill: (a) a provision that would have allowed insurers to use a “Notice of Change in Policy Terms” to remove sinkhole coverage from a property insurance policy; and (b) changes to the required disclosures for commercial insurance sold in the surplus lines market.
    HB 1101 is effective July 1, 2012.** For more, see bill summary and final bill language Fla. Laws Ch. 2012-151
      • Insurance Agents & Adjusters HB 725 - makes licensing and regulation of agents and adjusters more uniform, with some streamlining. HB 725 is effective October 1, 2012.** For more, see bill summary and bill language HB 725 er.
        • Medicaid Managed Care SB 730 - Among other provisions: (1) authorizes Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) to calculate medical loss ratio for managed care plans in Medicaid managed care program, if required as condition of Medicaid waiver; (2) limits application of state's Subscriber Grievance Systems, including non-applicability to HMO plan electing to be subject to applicable internal grievance and external review processes by independent review organization; (3) changes statewide Medicaid managed care program (the managed medical assistance program and the long-term care managed care program) for recipients who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, by requiring AHCA to establish payments for dually eligible individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage coordinated care plan and Medicare Advantage special needs plan. SB 730 is effective July 1, 2012.** For more, see Senate final bill summary and bill language Fla. Laws Ch. 2012-44.
        • Medicaid Services - health insurance exchange HB 5301 - Among other provisions: requires Department of Children and Family Services (DFS) to develop an internet-based system for eligibility determination for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that complies with all applicable federal and state laws and requirements [including PPACA health insurance exchange], to must be completed by October 1 2013 and ready for implementation by January 1, 2014. HB 5301 is effective July 1, 2012.** For more, see final bill analysis and bill language Fla. Laws Chap. 2012-33.
        • Cancellation of Commercial Auto HB 1223 (Section 28) - Clarifies notification requirements for cancellation of commercial auto policy, by providing that insurer notify Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) of cancellation of commercial motor vehicle policy at the same time insurer provides cancellation notice to insured pursuant to F.S. 627.7281. Section 28 of HB 1223 is effective January 1, 2013.** For more, see House final bill analysis and bill language Fla. Laws Chap. 2012-181.
        • Repeal of Uniform Home Grading Scale HB 4061 - Repeals required adoption by FSC of uniform scale to grade ability of home to withstand wind load from tropical storms or hurricanes. HB 4061 is effective July 1, 2012.** For more, see bill summary and bill language Fla. Laws Ch. 2012-92.
        • Warranty Associations HB 1011 - Provides criteria to effectuate refunds through the issuing salesperson or agent, authorizes (rather than requires) examination of warranty associations, and authorizes donations to Department of Financial Services to pursue unauthorized warranty associations. HB 1011 is effective July 1, 2012.** For more, see bill summary and bill language Fla. Laws. 2012-77.
          • Title Insurance and Agents HB 643 - Pertains to forms and rates, agent licensing and responsibility, attorney escrow funds, and other regulatory matters. HB 643 is effective July 1, 2012.** For more, see bill summary and bill language HB 643 er.
          • Money Services Businesses HB 1277 - Closes loopholes in Florida law that enable businesses to avoid payment of workers compensation premiums. HB 1277 is effective July 1, 2012.** For more, see bill summary and bill language Fla. Laws Ch. 2012-85.
            DID NOT PASS or were VETOED:

            Citizens Property Insurance Corporation - depopulation through surplus lines - would provide that eligible surplus lines insurers may participate in Citizens depopulation, in same manner & on same terms as authorized insurer.
            • HB 245 (Boyd) - passed House 2/3/2012; amended, passed by Senate; in House messages 3/6/2012. 
            • SB 578 (Richter) - approved by final Senate committee (1/12/2012). 

            Cat Fund - Premium Tax Funding mechanism - would have provided means to finance $1.5 billion for funding Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (Cat Fund), by selling Florida premium-tax credits to insurers. For more, see Section 8 of Conference Committee amendment and Cat Fund manager sees financing "tool" as potential headache (Fla. Current 3/19/2012)HB 5505 passed 3/9/2012, but was vetoed by the Governor.

            Cat Fund - downsizing.  A proposal to reduce the size of Cat Fund did not pass. For an earlier story, see Cat Fund in play.

            Expert Testimony - would change standard for admissibility of scientific expert witness testimony to Daubert standard (from current Frye standard), thereby bringing Florida more in line with the tougher expert testimony requirements in federal courts.
            • HB 243 (Metz) - passed by House; amended, passed by Senate, in House messages 3/8/2012.
            • SB 378 (Richter) - approved by final Senate Committee 2/29/12.
                  Repeal of FSC Annual Report on FHCF and Citizens - would repeal F.S. 627.3519, which requires FSC to provide annual report of probable maximum losses, financing options, potential assessments of FHCF and Citizens.
                  • HB 4059 (Metz) - passed by House 2/3/2012; in Senate messages.
                  • SB 1518 (Hays) - approved by Banking and Insurance Committee 2/7/2012; in Budget Subcommittee.
                  Repackaged drugs (Workers’ Compensation Medical Services) - would place additional restrictions on the dispensing of prescription drugs by physicians, for workers compensation insurance purposes.
                  • HB 511 (Hudson) - approved by final House Committee 2/24/2012.
                  • SB 668 (Hays) - approved by Banking & Insurance Committee (1/19/2012), Health Regulation (2/22/2012); in Budget Committee.
                    • HB 1065 (Broxson) - passed by House 2/23/2012; in Senate messages.
                    • SB 1476 (Richter) - approved by Senate Banking & Insurance Committee (2/7/2012); in Budget Subcommittee.
                    This summary was prepared by Perry Cone and posted at TallyInsLaw.com.

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