Thursday, September 23, 2010
Contact:         Jack McDermott                          Brittany Benner
                     850-413-2515                             850-413-2515
                     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today marks the six-month anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. The Office is using this opportunity to provide an update on the status of Florida’s implementation of this new law, as there are several important provisions that become effective today.

Some of the new requirements for plans issued by health insurers and health maintenance organizations include:
Ø  A prohibition of rescissions except for cases of fraud
Ø  A requirement to provide first-dollar coverage for certain preventive services
Ø  An elimination of “lifetime limits” for the dollar value of benefits
Ø  Coverage up to age 26 for dependents
Ø  A prohibition from including pre-existing condition exclusions for dependents

These changes are applicable to group health plans and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage in Florida, and in other states. The Office outlined these changes and other changes in the law in an Informational Memorandum released to the public on May 12, 2010.

“I would like to commend our staff for handling the increase in form and rate filings associated with the change in the federal law,” remarked Commissioner Kevin McCarty. “The overall rate increases associated with these changes appear to be relatively modest at between a 0.5 percent to 2.0 percent. This is consistent with what has been reported by regulators in other states; however, I am concerned about the new law’s affect on child-only policies.”

Earlier this year, several large health insurers in Florida announced they would discontinue writing “child-only” policies due to uncertainties in the law. The states have been in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding this issue. For more information about the effects of the federal Affordable Care Act on Floridians, please visit the “Health Care Reform” section of the Office’s website: http:/www.floir.com.

###