• Florida Senate Insurance Committee Approves Reciprocal Insurers, Countersignature Bills
  • March 11, 2015
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • Four insurance-related bills were on the Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance ("Committee") agenda today, March 4, 2015.

    Those included:
    • SB 678 by Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla relating to Reciprocal Insurers
    • SB 252 by Senator Chris Smith relating to Insurance Countersignature Requirements
    • SB 784 by Senator Don Gaetz relating to Health Care
    • SB 830 by Senator David Simmons relating to the Regulation of Corporation Not-for-Profit Self-Insurance Funds
    Senator Diaz de la Portilla who presented SB 678 to the Committee, explained that it would revise the way reciprocal insurers make distributions to their subscribers. After amending the bill to conform it to its House companion, CS/HB 639, the Committee members passed the bill unanimously.

    Senator Smith presented SB 252, which clarifies that lack of an agent's countersignature on an insurance policy does not affect its validity. Two amendments were adopted to the bill:
    • Barcode 728776 deletes unnecessary language
    • Barcode 180092 changes its surplus lines insurer reporting requirements by removing language relating to the surplus lines agent's affidavit
    SB 252 was approved unanimously.

    Senator Gaetz presented SB 784, which prohibits insurers and health maintenance organizations ("HMOs") from implementing prior authorization programs without approval of the Clinical Practices Review Commission it would create within the Florida Department of Health.

    Amendments were adopted to the bill that would require insurers to publish changes to any preferred provider list online within 10 days. They would also clarify that that HMOs cannot retroactively deny a claim after more than one year. The amendments also specify that insurers implementing any limitations without prior approval from the Clinical Practices Review Commission would be liable for any injury or damages (including economic damages) that result from the restricted access of services.

    Representatives from health insurers, HMOs and a business association spoke in opposition to SB 784, citing the increased costs that it would create. Others from various health care providers' associations supported the bill. Additionally, members of the public shared their related experiences with the Committee