PPACA Conformity Bill Signed Into Law
Governor Rick Scott has signed SB 1842 pertaining to health insurance into law. The law makes changes to the Florida Insurance Code necessary to allow the state’s regulations to conform to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Among its provisions, the new law will allow the Office of Insurance Regulation to review health insurers’ forms for compliance with PPACA and notify the federal Department of Health and Human Services of any noncompliance. Likewise, the OIR may consider PPACA compliance as part of its examinations of insurers.
The provision of the new law drawing the most attention has been a provision relieving insurers offering non-grandfathered plans in the individual and small group markets from rate approval requirements for plan years 2014 and 2015. Insurers must file their rates and rate changes but will not be required to gain approval of them as insurers and the OIR adjust to the PPACA requirements.
Governor Scott’s decision to sign the bill into law comes after some policymakers, including Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson urged the governor to veto the bill. Nelson, who formerly served as Florida’s insurance commissioner, expressed concern that the bill would expose consumers to substantial rate increases.
“To eliminate the Florida insurance commissioner’s authority to turn down rate increases is unbelievable and unconscionable.” Nelson wrote.