The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) announced July 1 that the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) filed an amended rate filing to address a third legal change affecting Florida’s workers’ compensation system. This amended filing increases NCCI’s initial proposed combined average rate increase from 17.1 percent to 19.6 percent.
Individual projected rate impacts for all three recent legal changes include the following:
* A 2.2 percent projected rate increase for the June 9th Florida Supreme Court decision in the case of Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg, in which the Florida Supreme Court found the 104-week statutory limitation on temporary total disability benefits in Section 440.15(2)(a), Florida Statutes, unconstitutional because it causes a statutory gap in benefits in violation of an injured worker’s constitutional right of access to courts. The Supreme Court reinstated the 260-week limitation in effect prior to the 1994 law change.
* A 15 percent projected rate increase for the April 28th Florida Supreme Court decision in the case of Castellanos v. Next Door Company, which found the mandatory attorney fee schedule in Section 440.34, Florida Statutes, unconstitutional as a violation of due process under both the Florida and United States Constitutions.
* A 1.8 percent projected rate increase related to updates within the Florida Workers’ Compensation Health Care Provider Reimbursement Manual (HCPR Manual) per Senate Bill 1402. The manual became effective on July 1, 2016.
NCCI is proposing an effective date of October 1, 2016 for new and renewal workers’ compensation policies and that the 19.6 percent rate increase apply to all workers’ compensation policies in effect as of October 1, 2016 on a pro-rata basis for the remainder of each policy’s term.
OIR has scheduled a public rate hearing for August 16, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. to give NCCI an opportunity to discuss the filing and interested parties and other stakeholders the ability to provide testimony or comments. The hearing will be held in the Jim King Committee Room, 401 Senate Office Building, 404 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida. A media advisory with more details will be released at a later date.
NCCI is a licensed rating organization authorized to make rate filings on behalf of workers’ compensation insurance companies in Florida. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets.
Insurance Journal, July 5, 2016