Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida health care waiver request delayed

A state request to free Florida health insurance companies from spending at least 80 percent of premiums on medical costs has been delayed by the federal government. The U.S. Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight extended its own deadline by 30 days.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty appealed to the federal government in March, asking that the state be allowed to keep its current 65-to-70 percent standard. McCarty wrote that the 80 percent requirement included in the new federal health insurance law would chase insurers out of the market and lead to fewer choices for consumers.

Insurers that fail to meet the new standard must pay rebates to consumers starting in 2012. If Florida companies did nothing to prepare for the new requirement, it could mean up to $62 million in rebates.

Consumer advocates contend the waiver is unnecessary. They say there is plenty of choice in Florida with at least 15 insurers selling individual products and no plans from the state's six largest insurers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield with 44 percent of the individual market, would leave the market because of the new requirement.

"The goal of this rule is to provide an incentive for insurance companies to operate more efficiently and to use customers' premium dollars wisely," Vivian Tapp of Hialeah-based Ambi-Lingual Associates wrote in an objection to the state's request. "If insurers cannot meet this reasonable standard by improving their operations, then consumers shouldn't have to waste money on low-quality, inefficient products."

Florida is one of 17 states that have requested a waiver from the requirement, known as a medical-loss ratio. So far, President Barack Obama's administration has adjusted the requirement for eight states and denied one, from North Dakota.

Florida health care waiver request delayed 11/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 18, 2011 12:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  2. Manuel Noriega, Panamanian strongman toppled in U.S. invasion, dies at 83

    Obituaries

    Gen. Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian strongman and onetime American ally who was toppled from power in a 1989 U.S. invasion and who spent more than two decades imprisoned on drug dealing and conspiracy convictions, died late Monday. He was most likely 83.

    Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega waves to newsmen after a state council meeting, at the presidential palace in Panama City, where they announced the new president of the republic in 1989. Panama's ex-dictator Noriega died Monday, May 29, 2017, in a hospital in Panama City. He was 83. [Associated Press]
  3. Austin Mahone talks Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, his pop evolution and more

    Blogs

    Austin Mahone has vivid memories from his childhood visits to see his grandparents in Tampa Bay.

  4. Motorcyclist killed in Pinellas Park crash, prompting road closures

    Accidents

    A motorcyclist was killed early Tuesday morning when he left the roadway and possibly struck a parked vehicle in Pinellas Park.

  5. Meet the five finalists for St. Petersburg College president

    College

    ST. PETERSBURG — In the last month, five finalists for the job of St. Petersburg College president have taken campus tours and answered questions from students, faculty and staff.

    The Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr., Midtown Center of St. Petersburg College, opened in 2015, is considered a major accomplishment by outgoing SPC president William Law. [SOPHIA NAHLI  ALLISON  |   TIMES]