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Press Release

OIR Reminds That Those Called To Active Duty Can Temporarily Suspend Health Coverage
Thursday, April 3, 2003
Tallahassee – With many of the state's National Guard and reserve troops called up for active duty, due to the war in Iraq, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation wants to alert these troops and their families that their health and disability income policies will not be affected.

Florida law requires the continuation of health insurance and disability income coverage following call-ups for active duty service. This requires insurance companies to maintain policies, without payment of premium, and resume them at the same coverage and premiums the insured troops had prior to being activated.

Regarding this statute, Office of Insurance Regulation Director Kevin McCarty said, "This is one concern we want our service men and women to not have to worry about."

Some insurance companies have contacted their policyholders regarding this matter. However, whether or not an insurance company contacts those affected, their coverage will be maintained.

The section of the Florida statutes referring to these protections follows:

The 2002 Florida Statutes

Title XVII
MILITARY AFFAIRS View Entire Chapter

250.341 Cancellation of health insurance.--Any health insurance policy, certificate, or evidence of health coverage, which was in effect on April 30, 1991, or which is issued or renewed after such date that provides coverage to a member of the Florida National Guard, or a member of any branch of the United States military reserves who is a resident of this state, called to active military duty, must:

(1) Continue all coverages which were in effect for the person, or the person's dependents covered by the same policy, at the premium in effect for all insured under the same contract, unless the employee requests coverage changes which might alter the premium he or she was paying prior to such activation during the time he or she serves on active duty.

(2) Reinstate the coverage for any such person who elects not to continue it while on active duty, at the person's request upon return from active duty, without a waiting period or disqualification for any condition which existed at the time he or she was called to active duty. Such reinstatement must be requested within 30 days after returning to work with the same employer or within 60 days if the policy is an individual policy.

(3) Any coverage available to the insured employee's dependent under the CHAMPUS program will be considered in the payment of any benefits.

(4) The employee must notify his or her employer of his or her reserve or National Guard status and the employee's intent to invoke the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) prior to leaving his or her employer to report for active military duty.

(5) Nothing in this section is intended to require an employee group health insurance policy to provide coverage to a person serving on active military duty.