OIR Releases Report, Supports Long-Term Care Bills
Contact: Beth Scott
– The Office of Insurance Regulation released the second part of its report
about the Long-Term Care Insurance market in Florida and is continuing to work with the Florida Legislature for passage of bills to protect elderly policyholders from skyrocketing rate increases and unfair post-claims underwriting business practices.
Senate Bill 2290 by Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, and its companion, HB 1349, by state Rep. Frank Farkas, R-St. Petersburg, protect seniors from excessive and unnecessary rate increases resulting from certain companies making the business decision to close blocks of business and provides consumer choice that would allow a contingent benefit should a significant rate increase occur.
In addition, the bill provides that seniors who file valid claims are guaranteed the benefits of their policy that they have paid into for up to 15-20 years through an incontestability provision, which allows a company to contest a policy at application and medical underwriting, and only up to two years after issuing the policy. Some companies have been post claim underwriting when seniors with dementia and Alzheimer's file legitimate claims. The legislation prohibits this unfair practice and mirrors current law applicable to life insurance.
The report, Phase II: Expanding the Vision: Long-Term Care Insurance in Florida, incorporates federal legislative changes that dramatically affect Florida policyholders, the Office's efforts to control rate spirals and feedback from the public hearings.
The report also includes data analysis from Phase I of the report with minor modifications based on public response. Response came from private insurers, consumers and the regulators as well as from the public hearing in Tampa in October 2005.