Today, Governor Rick Scott signed SB 1842, "An act relating to health insurance."
Below is Governor Scott's signing message:
May 31, 2013
Secretary Kenneth W. Detzner
Secretary of State
Florida Department of State
R. A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Dear Secretary Detzner:
By the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Florida, under the provisions of Article III, Section 8, of the Constitution of Florida, I do hereby sign and transmit Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 1842, enacted during the 115th Session of the Legislature of Florida, during the Regular Session of 2013 and entitled:
An act relating to health insurance
This bill amends the Florida Insurance Code in response to the requirements of the federal health care law and addresses conflicts between state and federal law, providing greater clarity for employers, insurers, and consumers, as full implementation the law begins January 1, 2014.
I support the legislature's deference to the federal government, for the first two- year transition period, to conduct oversight and review of newly created health insurance products offered in compliance with the heavily-regulated health care law.
Rates for new plans will be reviewed by the same federal government that will be enforcing and updating the new rules and regulations throughout this very fluid and uncertain transition period. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) will continue to conduct rate reviews for "grandfathered" health plans not affected by the new federal health care law and conduct forms and contract reviews of all insurance products in the individual and small group markets.
This legislation will keep in place many of Florida's longstanding consumer protections, while also providing OIR the necessary time and flexibility to minimize confusion and maintain a stable and competitive marketplace for Florida consumers.
For the reasons stated above, I hereby sign into law Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 1842.