2020 Florida Session Update
LIFE AND ANNUITY
1. PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE INVESTORS HB813/SB1672
by McClure passed its final committee this week the House Commerce Committee and will be up next on the House floor. The bill would allow an investment advisor to place a 15 day hold on a trade if the investment advisor suspects undue influence on a vulnerable adult. An amendment was adopted with the support of the Florida Bar Elder Law Section.
SB1672 by Broxson passed its first committee on January 28th and will be up next in Senate Judiciary on February 11th.
2. MEDICAID LONG-TERM CARE - CASH VALUE OF LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES HB1373/SB1544
SB1544 by Senator Albritton passed its first of three committee stops on February 4th and will be up next in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. The bill would prohibit the Department of Children and Families, in determining Medicaid eligibility, from considering the cash surrender value of certain life insurance policies as assets if certain conditions are met. An amendment was adopted removing the life insurance section of the bill. Further, the bill specifies requirements for a collateral assignment by a Medicaid applicant, requiring the Agency for Health Care Administration to file a claim for the death benefit upon the recipient's death. This bill is being advocated for by the nursing home association. AHCA did not appear to take a position on the bill.
HB1373 Webb does not impose the same requirements as SB1544. Instead, it would require an OPPAGA study of the issue. This bill passed its first of two committees this week and will be up next in the Health and Human Services Committee. It was amended to remove the study so no longer impacts life insurance.
3. TRUSTS HB1089 CARUSO/SB1366
HB1089 by Representative Caruso passed its first of three committee stops the House Civil Justice Subcommittee this week and will be up next in Ways and Means. The bill provides that life insurance policies on the grantor's life cannot be used to satisfy the grantor's tax liability.
SB1366 by Senator Gruters will be up in its first of three committee stops the Senate Judiciary Committee February 11th.
- The Florida Bankers Association brought language to us seeking to make changes in the premium finance prohibitions regarding life insurance policies that we put into law several years back. The Bankers felt that current law was stifling legitimate premium finance transactions but they did not put forward an alternate version of their language. After a discussion with the Bankers representatives, they decided not to file a bill. But we remain on the alert for amendments.
LIFE & HEALTH
1. GENETIC TESTING HB1189/SBH1564
Sprowls would prohibit underwriting based on results of a DNA test in life, long-term care and disability products. HB1189 passed the full house on January 29th. This bill has passed the House in 2 prior sessions.
SB1564 by Stargel passed its first of three committees on January 28th the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee with an amendment and will be up next in Senate Judiciary on February 11th. The Senate version now provides that a life insurer, long-term care insurer, or disability income insurer may use genetic information for underwriting purposes if the information is:
- In the medical record;
- Relevant to a potential medical condition that impacts mortality or morbidity risk; and
- Related to expected mortality and morbidity based on sound acutuarial principles or reasonably expected experience.
The bill prohibits a life insurer, long-term care insurer, or disability income insurer from:
- Cancelling coverage based solely on genetic information;
- Requiring an applicant to take a genetic test as a condition of insurability; or
- Obtaining, requesting, or otherwise requiring the complete gnome sequence of an applicant's DNA.
It remains to be seen whether the House will accept the Senate amendment. This will be an issue for the last week of session.
1. PBM TRANSPARENCY:SB1338/HB7045
HB 7045 by the Health Market Reform Subcommittee (which will be shepherded by Rep. Andrade), requires insurer and PBM contracts to require PBMs to report information to the insurer on rebates, revenue through spread pricing, and administrative fees. This information is to be annually submitted by the insurer to Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) for publishing and analysis. The bill amends pharmacy audit requirements for notices, audit periods, and reporting back to the pharmacy. Additionally, the bill requires drug manufacturers to provide advance notice to insurers of any drug price increases, and to report all increases annually to OIR, along with the contributing factors to the increase. This proposed committee bill passed the House Market Reform Committee on January 21st and will be up next in House Appropriations.
SB1338 by Senator Wright increases oversight of PBMs, giving OIR authority to conduct market conduct examinations of PBMs. Revises the definition of the term, "maximum allowable cost;" and creates definitions of the terms, "brand drug," and "generic drug." Requires PBMs to pass through generic rebates to an insurer or HMOs. Requires annual PBM reporting to OIR of aggregated rebates, and differences in payments between retail and mail order pharmacies, and other information. The bill was referred to Banking and Insurance; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriation. The bill passed the Senate Banking and Insurance committee on January 28th after several onerous amendments were withdrawn and will be up next in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.
2. ANTI-PBM RESTRICTIONS BACKED BY INDEPENDENT PHARMACY AND PHARMA INITIATIVES HB961/SB1682/SB1444
HB961 by Representative Toledo provides that a PBM has a fiduciary duty and obligation to the insureds and to the health insurer that uses the PBM services. Sets prohibitions and restrictions on PBMs, including among others, gag clauses, retroactive claims denials, making referrals, using spread pricing, charging claim adjudication fees, and paying a pharmacy less than an affiliate pharmacy. Also sets reporting requirements on PBMs and MAC pricing provisions. Provides that any coinsurance obligations on beneficiaries are to be based on net price of drugs as opposed to list price. HB961 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Health and Human Services Committee and has not yet been heard in its first committee.
by Senator Rodriguez and SB1444 by Senator Harrell are similar bills that set prohibitions and restrictions on PBMs, including among others, gag clauses, retroactive claims denials, making referrals, using spread pricing, charging claim adjudication fees, and paying a pharmacy less than an affiliate pharmacy. Provides that a PBM has a fiduciary duty and obligation to the insureds and to the health insurer that uses the PBM services. Also sets reporting requirements on PBMs and MAC pricing provisions. Provides that any coinsurance obligations on beneficiaries are to be based on net price of drugs as opposed to list price. SB1682 requires drug manufacturers to annually report WAC information for all FDA-approved drugs sold in the state the previous year. Requires reporting when the price of a drug increases by 40 percent or more during the preceding 3 years or by 15 percent in the preceding calendar year, if the WAC was at least $100 for a 30-day supply before the effective date of the increase. Requires PBMs to annually report aggregated rebates collected, passed on to insurers or enrollees, and retained as revenue. The bills were referred to Banking and Insurance; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations. Neither of these bills have been heard in committee.
3. STEP THERAPY/MEDICAL MANAGEMENT HB373/SB820
HB373 by Representative Massullo prohibits policies from requiring an insured to fail to successfully respond to a drug or drugs for stage four advanced, metastatic cancer prior to the approval of a drug prescribed by his or her physician.Requires insurers to provide access to a clear and convenient process to request a step therapy override determination which must be made easily accessible on the health insurer's website. The health insurer must provide a prescription drug for treatment of the medical condition at least until the step therapy exception determination is made. Sets conditions for when step therapy overrides are to be granted expeditiously. Prohibits retroactively denying claims for insured ineligibility if at any time, if the health insurer granted a prior authorization request. Prohibits imposing additional prior authorization requirements on procedures during the perioperative period of another procedure. HB373 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Health and Human Services Committee. This bill passed its first of three committee stops this week and will be up next in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.
SB820 by Senator Harrell prohibits policies from requiring an insured to fail to successfully respond to a drug or drugs for stage four advanced, metastatic cancer prior to the approval of a drug prescribed by his or her physician.Requires insurers to provide access to a clear and convenient process to request a step therapy exception determination which must be made easily accessible on the health insurer's website. The health insurer must provide a prescription drug for treatment of the medical condition at least until the step therapy exception determination is made. Sets conditions for when step therapy exceptions are to be granted. Sets restrictions on changes that can be made to prior authorization forms, and requires advanced written notice to affected policyholders. Prohibits retroactively denying claims for insured ineligibility if at any time, if the health insurer granted a prior authorization request. Prohibits imposing additional prior authorization requirements on procedures during the perioperative period of another procedure. Referred to Banking and Insurance; Health Policy; Rules. This bill has not yet been heard.
CANCER DRUGS - STEP THERAPY HB261/SB672
HB261 by Representative Brown prohibits policies from requiring an insured to fail to successfully respond to a drug or drugs for stage four advanced, metastatic cancer prior to the approval of a drug prescribed by his or her physician. HB261 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Health and Human Services Committee and has not yet been heard.
SB672 by Senator Mayfield was referred to Banking and Insurance; Health Policy; and Appropriations. This bill has not yet been heard.
HB561 by Representative Altman requires advance notification on an insurer's website before a formulary change, and mailed notification to anyone currently receiving coverage for drug affected by the change, and their treating physician. If a treating physician deems the drug as medically necessary, the insurer must cover the drug until the end of the policy year, without modifying coverage, including out-of-pocket costs, or restrictive tiers. Further, the bill requires an annual report to OIR on formulary changes; requires insurers to apply any third-party payments towards an insured's out-of-pocket expenses to be applied towards the deductible or out-of-pocket maximum; and requires annual reporting of aggregated rebates by PBMs. HB561 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; and Health and Human Services Committee. This bill has not yet been heard.
SB696 by Senator Mayfield was referred to Banking and Insurance; Health Policy; and Appropriations. This bill has not yet been heard.
4. PRICE TRANSPARENCY HB1205/SB1626
HB1205 by Representative Rodriguez prohibits gag clauses on price transparency with patients in contracts between insurers and providers. Prohibits health insurer from requiring insured to make payment for a covered service that exceeds the cash price in the absence of coverage. HB1205 passed its second of three committee stops on February 4th and will be up next in House Health and Human Services.
SB1626 by Senator Flores was referred to Banking and Insurance; Health Policy; and Rules. The bill will be up in Banking and Insurance on February 11th.
5. INSULIN CO-PAY CAP HB109/SB116
HB109 by Duran requires policies to cap insured's monthly cost-sharing obligation for covered prescription insulin drugs at $100 for a 30-day supply, regardless of the amount or type of insulin needed to fill the insured's prescription. HB109 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; and Health and Human Services Committee. This bill has not been heard.
SB116 by Senator Cruz was reported favorably by the Banking and Insurance Committee and is now in the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations. The next stop after that is the Appropriations committee.
6. NONOPIOID PRIOR AUTHORIZATION SB298
SB298 by Farmer would require failure of an opioid prior to use of a Nonopioid alternative. This bill has not been heard and has no companion.
7. DRUG AFFORDABILITY HB1293/SB1724
HB1293 by Representative Good establishes a Prescription Drug Affordability Commission to review prescription drug costs and inform public. Requires drug manufacturers to notify the Commission of increases in WAC of more than 10% or $3000 for a course of treatment, brand drugs with a WAC of over $30,000, introduction of biosimilars with a WAC not 15% lower than the reference drug, and advance notice of other increases with justification. If the commission finds that the cost of the prescription drug under review creates excess costs for payors and consumers, the commission shall establish the rate that must be billed to, and paid by, payors, pharmacies, health care providers, wholesalers, distributors, and uninsured and insured consumers. Also contains provisions prohibiting individual policies from establish differentials in premium rates for such coverage based on a preexisting condition. HB1293 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; and Health and Human Services Committee. This bill has not been heard.
HB1295 (Good-D) Exempts from public meeting requirements portions of meetings of Prescription Drug Affordability Commission containing trade secrets. Referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Oversight, Transparency and Public Management Subcommittee; and Health and Human Services Committee. This bill is linked to HB1293 because public records exemptions are required to be in a separate bill. It has not been heard.
SB1724 by Senator Cruz was referred to Banking and Insurance; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. This bill has not been heard.
8. AIR AMBULANCE HB747/SB736
HB747/SB736 requires insurers to provide reasonable reimbursement to air ambulance services for covered services. "Reasonable reimbursement" means reimbursement that considers the actual cost of services rendered, the operation of an air ambulance service by a county which operates entirely within a designated area of critical state concern as determined by the Department of Economic Opportunity, and in-network reimbursement. The term does not include billed charges for the cost of services rendered.
HB747 by Representative Williamson was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Health and Human Services Committee. It passed its third and final committee stops on February 5th and will be up next on the House floor. An amendment was adopted to clarify that co-pays/coinsurance made by the insured constitute payment in full.
SB736 by Senator Diaz was referred to Banking and Insurance; Health Policy; Rules. It passed Senate Banking and Insurance on January 21st and will be up next in Senate Health Policy on February 11th.
Infant Eye Exams HB67/SB46
SB46 (Book-D) requires coverage for children under health insurance policies to include eye examinations for newborns and infants to detect pediatric congenital and ocular abnormalities and developmental abnormalities. SB 46 was referred to Health Policy; Banking and Insurance; Appropriations. The bill will be up on February 11th in Health Policy.
HB67 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; Health and Human Services Committee. Neither of these bills have been heard.
Hearing Aid Coverage HB125/SB1006
HB125 by Representative Brannan requires hearing aid coverage for children up to 21 years of age at a minimum coverage amount of $3,500 per ear within a 24-month period. HB 125 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; and Health and Human Services Committee. This bill has not been heard.
SB1006 by Senator Baxley was referred to Banking and Insurance; Health Policy; and Appropriations. It passed the Senate Banking and Insurance committee on January 21 and will be up next in Senate Health Policy on February 11th.
Diagnostic Mammograms HB263/SB416
HB263 by Representative prohibits plans from applying cost-sharing requirements for a diagnostic mammogram, breast magnetic resonance imaging scan, or breast ultrasound, respectively, that is ordered by a health care provider. HB263 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; and Health and Human Services Committee.
SB416 by Representative Berman was referred to Health Policy; Banking and Insurance; and Rules.
SB1196 (Cruz-D) requires coverage for epinephrine injectors for children 18 years of age or younger. Referred to Banking and Insurance; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations. Neither bill has been heard.
10. MENTAL HEALTH PARITY HB939/SB706/SB7012
HB939 by Representative Slosberg requires individual and group insurers to comply with the federal mental health parity coverage laws. Requires annual reporting of medical necessity criteria for mental or nervous disorder benefits, substance use disorder benefits, and medical and surgical benefits, as well as all nonquantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs) applied. Requires Medicaid managed care plans to submit annual report to AHCA relating to parity between mental health and substance use disorder benefits and medical and surgical benefits. HB 939 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; and Health and Human Services Committee.
SB706 by Senator Rouson was referred to Banking and Insurance; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations. Neither bill has been heard.
SB7012 (By Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs) - Requires insurer certification of compliance with the requirements of the MHPAEA and benefits may not be provided in a more restrictive manner. This bill has two more committee stops and does not have a House companion.
11. E-PRESCRIBING HB1103/SB1830
HB1103 by Representative Mariano amends e-prescribing mandate to allow written prescription only when electronic prescribing is not available due to a temporary technological or electrical failure that is not reasonably within the control of the prescribing practitioner, and such failure is documented in the patient record. Prohibits e-prescribing from interfering with a patient's right to choose their pharmacy. Allows e-prescribing software to display information regarding a payor's formulary if nothing is designed to preclude or make more difficult the selection of any particular pharmacy by a patient or the selection of any certain medicinal drug by a prescribing practitioner or his or her agent. HB1103 was referred to Health Quality Subcommittee; and Health and Human Services Committee. It has passed the Health and Human Services committee on January 30th and will be up next on the House floor.
SB1830 was referred to Health Policy; Innovation, Industry, and Technology; Rules. This bill has not yet been heard.
12. CREDENTIALING SB1684/HB1143
SB1684 (Gruters-R) requiring the FSC, in consultation with the AHCA, to adopt a standardized provider credentialing form by rule. Provides for expedited credentialing for a provider joining a medical group already in network. If an applicant does not meet the plan's credentialing requirements the insurer may recover from the applicant or the applicant's medical group an amount equal to the difference between payments for in-network benefits and out-of-network benefits. Provides that during the expedited process, an enrollee is not responsible, and must be held harmless, for the difference between the in-network payment to the applicant and the out-of-network charge of the applicant or the applicant's medical group for the service provided to the enrollee. This bill was referred to Banking and Insurance; Health Policy; Appropriations and has not been heard.
HB1143 (Gregory-R) implements Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, and requires FSC to adopt standard form for verification of credentials of health care professionals. State medical boards that participate in the Compact retain the jurisdiction to impose an adverse action against a license to practice medicine in that state issued to a physician through the procedures in the Compact. HB1143 was referred to Health Quality Subcommittee; Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be up in the House Health Quality Subcommittee on February 3rd. A proposed committee substitute was adopted which removed the credentialing section from the bill.
13. SHARED SAVINGS INCENTIVES HB1279/SB1836
HB1279 (Yarborough-R) amends shared savings incentives enacted in 2019 to include direct cash or equivalent to insureds. The bill passed its second of three committee stops on February 5th and will be up next in House Health and Human Services.
SB1836 (Bean-R) provides that if an insured obtains a covered health care service or prescription drugs from an out-of-network provider or pharmacy at a cost that is the same or less than the in-network average that the health insurer pays, the health insurer must apply the payment made by an insured toward the insured's deductible and out-of-pocket maximum as if the health care service had been provided by an in-network provider. This bill contains various provisions impacting both the private market and State Employees Group Plan. Referred to Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations. This bill has not been heard.
14. MEDICAID EXPANSION HB219/SB164/SJR224/HJR247
HB219 (Watson-D)/SB164 (Thurston-D)/SJR224 (Taddeo-D)/HJR247 (Polo-D) provides for the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA. HB219 was referred to Health Market Reform Subcommittee; Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; and Health and Human Services Committee. SJR224 and SB164 were referred to Health Policy; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations; Rules. These bills have not been heard.
15. MEDICAID WORK REQUIREMENTS SB1808/HB1367
SB1808 (Baxley-R)/HB1367 (Tomkow-R) directs AHCA to seek federal approval for Medicaid work requirements consistent with TANF requirements. SB1808 was referred to Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. HB1367 was referred to Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Health and Human Services Committee. The Senate bill has yet to be heard in its first committee. The House bill passed its first of three committee stops this week the House Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee.
16. MEDICAID HEALTHY KIDS BENEFIT CAPS HB6031/SB348
HB6031 (Pigman-R)/SB348 (Bean-R) removes lifetime maximum cap on covered expenses for child enrolled in Florida Healthy Kids program. HB6031 was referred to Health Quality Subcommittee; Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; Health and Human Services Committee. This bill passed its second of three committees on February 4th.
SB348 was referred to Health Policy; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations. This bill has passed its final committee of reference and will be up next on the Senate floor.
These bills are in a position to pass.
17. MEDICAID DISABILITY WAIVER SB82
SB82 (Bean-R) directs the state to contract out parts of the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver, known as iBudget, to allow more flexibility to provide services. This includes consolidating support-coordination services currently delivered by agencies and individuals throughout the state. The bill requires state officials to find an outside group to evaluate if funds provided through iBudget should be increased. The bill also allows AHCA to seek federal approval to implement a payment rate for Medicaid intermediate care facilities serving individuals with developmental disabilities who may not be appropriate for placement in community settings. The bill passed its second of three committees of reference on January 28th and was Temporarily postponed this week in Senate Appropriations. Meanwhile, no House companion measure has materialized.
18. ESTIMATES FOR NONEMERGENCY PROCEDURES HB959/SB1664
by Representative Duggan, which is entitled "Medical Billing," would require facilities to provide estimates to patients in an effort to make hospital medical billing more predictable for patients. The measure would require hospitals to tell patients at the time of admission or scheduling how much nonemergency procedures would cost. Current law requires those estimates to be provided only if a patient asks for them. Any hospital that exceeds an estimate by more than 10 percent would need to detail reasons for the overage to the patient. The bill also would require facilities to establish a dispute process for patients and post that information prominently on their websites. The facility would have to respond to initial disputes within seven business days. The measure would require hospitals to go through a legal or judicial proceeding before placing a lien on a patient's house or garnishing their wages. The bill would require hospitals to determine whether a patient qualifies for financial assistance before taking such collection actions.
was approved by the House Health and Human Services on February 6th and will be up next on the House floor.
by Senator Albritton has not yet been heard.
1. DENTAL THERAPY HB979/SB152
HB979 by Representative Plascenia
authorizes Medicaid to reimburse for dental services provided by certain mobile dental units; creates the Council on Dental Therapy; defines the term dental therapist; requires reports to the Legislature. This bill has yet to be heard in its first of three committees of reference.
SB152 by Senator Brandes is the companion measure this bill was temporarily postponed in Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs on February 4th and has been placed on the agenda for the same committee on February 11th.
2. HEALTH ACCESS DENTAL LICENSES HB1461/SB1296
HB1461 by Representative Brown would allow out of state dentists to practice in certain health access settings by saving an existing program from repeal. This bill passed its first committee on January 28th and will be up next in House Health and Human Services.
SB1296 by Senator Berman is in its second of three committees.
3. DENTAL HEALTH HB1319 by Robinson
HB1319 by Representative Robinson
Authorizes licensed dentist to order impression materials for self-administration by a patient; authorizes intraoral or extraoral photography as remediable & delegable tasks under certain circumstances. This bill passed its first of three committees on February 3rd the House Health Quality Subcommittee and will be up next in House Health and Human Services. However, there is no Senate companion.
1. CONTINGENCY RISK MULTIPLIER SB914/HB7071
SB914 by Senator Brandes passed its second of three committees the Senate Banking and Insurance on February 4th. The bill codifies into state law the federal precedent regarding the award of attorney fees using the lodestar amount and contingency fee multipliers. The bill creates a strong presumption that the lodestar amount is sufficient and reasonable. The goes further to provide that the sufficient and reasonable presumption is only rebuttable in rare and exceptional circumstances by evidence that competent counsel could not be retained in a reasonable manner. Only when such evidence is presented to the court could a contingency risk multiplier be applied in property insurance litigation.
HB 7071, the companion measure, has passed its first stop the Judiciary committee and will be up next in House Commerce. The bill is in line with the senate bill which creates a strong presumption that the
fee is sufficient.
2. CONSTRUCTION DEFECT HB295/SB948
HB295 by Representative Santiago passed the House Civil Justice committee on January 29th and will be up next in House Commerce. The bill makes several changes to the construction defect claim process, some of those changes include:
- Requiring the claimant to sign the notice of claim;
- Tolling statutory requirements until the requirements for the notice of claim are met;
- Requiring more specificity to sign the notice of claim;
- Removing the authority for an HOA to file a notice of claim for homeowners;
- Lengthening the time for a response to a claim from 15 to 45 days;
- Requiring a claimant to serve notice of denial of a claim or no response to the claim to all parties, requiring nonbinding arbitration of construction defect suits;
- Requiring a special verdict form for construction defect suits with allocations;
- Limiting the scope of defense to work performed by the insured;
- Requiring claimants to repair and set out the required payment.
Meanwhile, SB948 by Senator Baxley also awaits its first of three committee hearings.
3. SINKHOLE AND CATASTROPHIC GROUND COVER HB399/SB904
HB399 by Representative Mariano has yet to be heard in its first of three committees the House Insurance & Banking committee. Revises the definition catastrophic ground cover collapse for insurance coverage purposes. The bill provides circumstances under which damage of a structure or building constitutes a specified loss. This bill is not expected to get much traction this year.
SB904 by Senator Hooper has yet to be placed on an Agenda in its first committee.
4. COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS HB623/SB1154
HB399 by Representative Shoaf has passed two of its three committee stops and will be up next in House Commerce. The bill prohibits condominium owners' insurance policies from providing rights of subrogation against the association under certain circumstances.
SB1154 by Senator Baxley passed its first committee this week and will be up next in Senate Community Affairs on February 10th.
5. FLORIDA BUILDING CODE SB710
SB710 by Senator Albritton makes certain changes to the Florida Building Code that would require the entire envelope of a building be impact resistant and require the use of high wind-resistant construction materials for the construction of:
- Multistory residential group R1 or multistory R2;
- New residential construction that is:
- Within 10 miles of the coastal mean high-water line and where the ultimate design wind speed is 130 miles per hour or greater; or
- In areas where the ultimate design wind speed is 140 miles per hour or greater.
- New residential construction in the high-velocity hurricane zone, as defined in the code; and
- Buildings designated or used as hurricane shelters.
This bill has not yet been heard and has no House companion at this time.
6. CITIZENS MONROE COUNTY RATE CAP SB1204
SB1204 by Senator Flores has yet to be heard in its first of three committees the Senate Banking and Insurance committee. The bill provides that a single policy issued by Citizens does not exceed 5 percent for any single wind-only policy issued by the corporation to an insured located within a county in which during the preceding 15 years the amount of premiums paid by all policyholders in the county exceeded the total amount of claims paid to all policyholders in the county by more than $700 million. This provision begins on January 1, 2021. This bill does not change the existing law that caps Citizens policies at a 10 percent annual increase. Both the existing law and this bill excludes sinkhole coverage for the cap.
This bill has no House companion at this time.
1. PIP REPEAL SB771/HB378
SB378 by Senator Lee passed in its first committee stop, the Senate Infrastructure and Security committee and will be up next in Senate Banking and Insurance on February 11th. The bill repeals PIP and replaces it with mandatory $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury, $10,000 property damage, and optional Med Pay. The bill requires mandatory med pay offers of $5,000 and $10,000 with no deductible and an additional $5,000 death benefit. The bill also sets a maximum Med Pay deductible at $500.
The bill also contains named driver exclusion language that would allow private passenger motor vehicle policies to exclude named drivers from certain coverages if specifically excluded by name on the dec page or by endorsement and specifies when a named driver cannot be excluded.
HB771 by Representative Grall passed its first of three committee stops this week and will be up next in House Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee.
2. PEER-TO-PEER CAR SHARING SB478/HB723/HB377
HB723 by Representative Fischer passed its first committee stop the House Insurance and Banking subcommittee this week and will be up next in House State Affairs. The bill defines peer-to-peer or car-sharing and provides insurance requirements for peer-to-peer car sharing. It also allows insurers insuring the shared vehicle owner to exclude coverage for use of the vehicle in car sharing and provides that the car sharing program and vehicle owner are not vicariously liable for the actions and damages of the driver during periods of car sharing use.
Meanwhile SB478 by Senator Perry also passed its first committee stop the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology committee this week and was temporarily postponed in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on February 4th and has now been placed on the agenda for February 11th. This bill requires certain financial responsibilities in addition to also setting definitions and providing for insurance requirements. This bill is similar to HB377 by Representative Latvala which also has yet to be heard.
Peer-to-peer ride sharing looks to be something the legislature will be discussing this session. It isn't clear yet how much regulatory structure the legislature looks to put around vehicle sharing programs. This is an issue that rental car companies are watching closely.
3. AUTOGLASS AOB SB312/HB169
SB312 by Senator Stewart died in its first committee of reference the Senate Banking and Insurance committee after being reported unfavorably after a 4-4 split. The bill was proposing to prohibit motor vehicle repair shops and their employees from offering an inducement to a customer in exchange for making an insurance claim for motor vehicle glass replacement or repair. This prohibition also applied to individuals who are not employees of the repair shop, but are compensated for their solicitation of insurance claims.
HB169 had yet to be heard in its first House committee Insurance and Banking. While some talks are underway to revive the glass issue in some form on the Senate side, this issue is likely dead for this session.
4. ELECTRIC BICYCLES SB1148/HB971
SB1148 by Senator Brandes passed its first committee Senate Infrastructure and Security on February 3rd and will be up next in Community Affairs on February 10th. The bill would legalize the use of electric scooters in the same manner that regular bicycles are regulated. The bill would require manufacturers to place a permanently affixed label in a prominent location identifying the motor's top assisted speed and motor wattage. It also would have to include the bikes classification number. Electric Bicycles have three classifications:
Class 1: contain a motor that only provides assistance while a user is pedaling and ceases assistance when the e-bike reaches speeds up to 20 miles per hour;
Class 2: uses a motor that can propel the bike whether or not the user is pedaling and can power the bike up to 20 miles per hour;
Class 3: Can power the bike whether or not the user is pedaling and can assist with speeds up to 28 miles per hour.
The bill also protects home rule by allowing local governments to approve and implement restriction on e-bikes for public safety reasons.
The House companion HB971 by Representative Michael Grant passed its second committee this week and will be up next in House State Affairs Committee.
An amendment was adopted in the first committee stop that: 1) removed seat height requirements, 2) authorized local government regulation, and 3) removed outdated helmet standards.
5. TOWING AND IMMOBILIZING VEHICLES AND VESSELS SB1332/HB133
HB133 by Representative McClain has passed of its final committee stop and will be up next on the House floor. The bill authorizes a county or municipality to regulate the rates for the towing or immobilization of vessels by establishing a maximum rate that may be charged for towing or immobilization of a vessel. The bill prohibits a county or municipality from enacting a rule or ordinance that imposes a fee or charge on authorized wrecker operators or a towing business.
Additionally, the bill prohibits a county or municipality from enacting an ordinance or rule requiring an authorized wrecker operator or towing business to accept credit cards as a form of payment. This prohibition would not apply to an ordinance or rule adopted before January 1, 2020.
SB1332 by Hooper passed in its first of three committees on January 21st, the Senate Community Affairs Committee on February 10th.
6. TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES HB1039/SB1352
HB1039 by Representative Rommel passed its second of three committees stops on February 4th and will be up next in the House State Affairs Committee. The bill allows for companies like Uber and Lyft to advertise on their cars. This would be through signs on the cars that would be restricted to no taller than 20 inches and no longer than 54 inches. Regardless of the size, the sign could not extend beyond the rear or front windshield or otherwise impair the driver's vision. The bill also adds a category for luxury ground transportation network companies that requires them to follow the same laws as traditional transportation network companies.
SB1352 by Senator Brandes also passed its first committee stop on January 27th and will be up next in Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology on February 10th.
1. INSURANCE OMNIBUS (POLICY EXECUTION) SB1334/HB359
HB359, by Representative Santiago, passed its first of three committee stops this week the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee on January 15th and will be up next in its final committee stop House Commerce. The bill has several components to it including the following:
- A third-party audit of the FHCF for calculation of FHCF premiums for actuarial soundness every three years;
- Requiring Civil Remedy Notice delivery to the name and address of insurer and gives insurers 60 days from receipt of the CRN to pay damages or correct the alleged violation;
- Restricts a Civil Remedy Notice from being filed in a county with a state of emergency for fire, wind or flood event until 60 days after the state of emergency was declared;
- Prohibits OIR from disapproving a property rate that is within 5% of a straight average of 2 or more models;
- Extends the deemer date for property rate and form filings to the end of the next business day if the date falls on a weekend or holiday;
- Make the 3-year First Notice of Loss window apply to all property claims in addition to wind or hurricane claims.
- Allows insurers to choose when to notify policyholders of their right to participate in DFS mediation including when the policyholder disputes the claim.
- Changes condo unit owner's assessment coverage trigger from date of loss rather than date of assessment by the condo association;
- Prohibits OIR from releasing trade secret data included in an aggregate format, in the OIR annual report, or data that can be individually extrapolated;
- Changes the electronic signature on an odometer disclosure submitted by an insurer for a salvage-certificate of title from Level 3 to Level 2 which removes the requirement of a multi-factor remote network authentication of the signature and replaces it with a single factor authentication; and
- Requires DHSMV to establish an online verification system accessible through the Internet so that department employees, court personnel, law enforcement personnel, auto insurers, and other authorized entities can directly access insurers' records to verify a vehicle's insurance status, identify drivers and enforce Florida's financial responsibility law.
SB1334, by Senator Brandes, was temporarily postponed in its first of three committee stops on February 4th. The bill has been placed back on the agenda for February 11th.
2. MINI INSURANCE OMNIBUS SB1606/HB895
HB895, by Representative Santiago, passed its first of three committees on January 28th and will be up next in the House Appropriations Committee. The bill has several components to it including the following:
- Authorizing the Florida Department of Highway Safety to transition the State's insurance verification system from a database to a web based real-time system;
- Expands the Florida Insurance Code to regulate the transaction of travel insurance using the Travel Insurance Model Act from the NAIC;
- Allows insurers to recover from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund the value of the "force placed" insurance, as an alternative to the last reported value associated with the property owner's lapsed insurance policy;
- Requires surplus lines agents to obtain coverage rejections from Florida insurers before "exporting" a policy to a surplus lines insurer;
- Allows a licensed general lines agent or personal lines agent to sell a motor vehicle serving agreement, service warranty agreement, or home warranty contract without a separate salesperson or sales representative license;
- Requires the data for insolvent workers compensation insurance companies to be included in the annual rate filing for the State of Florida. Also allows for loss data on insureds to be transmitted to the State's rating agent; and
- The 2019 Legislature authorized insurers to reduce the amount of premium collected from two months to one month. That provision however, did not also reduce the two-month cancellation requirement to one month. This created a situation wherein an insurer collects premium for one month but must carry the policy for two months even if the insured stopped paying premium.
SB1606 by Senator Perry passed its first of three committee stops, with an amendment that struck most of the bill but keeping the motor vehicle online verification section, in Senate Banking and Insurance on February 4th and will be up next in Senate Infrastructure and Security.
3. DFS CONSUMER PROTECTION SB1492/HB1137
HB 1137 by Representative Clemons passed its second of three committee stops on this wee and will be up next in House Commerce. The bill will be up next in House Government Operations and Technology Appropriations. The amended bill covers a number of issues including the following:
- Consumer Credit Scores and Security Freezes-The bill eliminates consumer reporting agencies' ability to charge a fee for a personal identification number used to place a security freeze. The bill requires that insurers notify applicants of the availability of DFS's financial literacy resources at the time they notify them of the use of credit scores and reports for underwriting purposes.
- Consumer Services-The bill requires that licensees provide documents when responding to written requests from DFS or the Office of Insurance Regulation and it eliminates obsolete penalties.
- Professions-The bill establishes insurance adjusting firms' licensure requirements and penalties for licensees who aid and abet unlicensed individuals, adds grounds upon which DFS may revoke or suspend licenses, and permits suspension of a title insurance agent's license for two years
- Agency Names-DFS may disapprove insurance agency names when they may mislead the public, but DFS seeks the specific authority to disapprove agency names that contain "Medicare" and "Medicaid." This bill provides the authority for DFS to disapprove agency names containing those words.
- Industrial Class Insurers-The bill amends the laws regarding industrial life insurance, small policies written upon individual lives, so that no such policies may be sold in Florida after July 1, 2020.
- Policyholder Rights-The bill extends the time that a policyholder has to cancel a contract with a public adjuster, and amends the Homeowners Claim Bill of Rights and property insurer claim's handling requirements, including policyholder notification of a change in adjuster.
- Export to Surplus Lines-The bill mandates that the notification regarding the export of a policy to the surplus lines market, currently given only to commercial policyholders, be given to all policyholders.
- Unfair or Deceptive Acts-Sliding, an insurance agent's failure to fully disclose the details of, and obtain consent to, purchase of service and products, is prohibited. The bill adds two grounds, based upon effectuating an entire insurance policy without consent, to the list of acts that constitute sliding.
- Foreign Venue Clauses Prohibited-Florida law does not mandate that dispute resolution for policies sold in Florida, and insuring property in Florida, on the admitted or surplus lines markets, occur within the state. The bill amends the law so that dispute resolution for such policies must occur in Florida.
- Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) Deductible-Currently, a policyholder whose claim is covered by FIGA must pay a $100 deductible on that claim. The bill eliminates that deductible.
- Unclaimed Property-Florida law provides a detailed framework for the recovery of unclaimed property held by DFS. The bill creates uniform forms for use by claimants' representatives involved in the recovery process and caps the fees such representatives may charge.
The Senate version of the bill SB1492 by Senator Wright will be up in its second committee stop this week and will be up next in Senate Rules. A strike-all amendment was adopted with some of the bills features regarding surplus lines jurisdiction and adjusters are being refined.
4. TRADE SECRET HB799/HB801/SB1532/SB1534
HB799(HB801) by Representative Gregory passed its second of three committee stops on January 30th and will be up next in House State Affairs.
The bill, which is linked to the passage of HB 801 or similar legislation, creates a public record exemption for trade secrets that applies to most agencies that are subject to public record requirements.
The bill defines the term "trade secret" to have the same meaning as the definition currently codified in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which includes information that is a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that:
- Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and
- Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.
However, the bill specifically excludes from the definition the following information related to any contract or agreement, or an addendum thereto, with an agency:
- The parties to the contract or agreement, or an addendum thereto.
- The amount of money paid, any payment structure or plan, expenditures, incentives, bonuses, fees, or penalties.
- The nature or type of commodities or services purchased.
- Applicable contract unit prices and deliverables.
The bill requires a person who submits a record claimed to contain a trade secret to an agency to mark the record clearly with the words "trade secret" and to submit with the record a notice verifying that the record contains a trade secret. Verification occurs by signing a written declaration under penalty of perjury. Failure to submit the notice constitutes a waiver of any claim by the submitter that the record contains a trade secret.
The bill authorizes an agency to disclose a trade secret, together with the notice of trade secret, to an officer or employee of another agency or governmental entity whose use of the trade secret is within the scope of his or her lawful duties and responsibilities.
The bill specifies that an agency employee who, while acting in good faith and in the performance of his or her duties, releases records pursuant to the process created by the bill is not liable, civilly or criminally, for release of the records.
The bill also specifies that the public record exemption does not apply to research institutes created or established in law, divisions of sponsored research at state universities, or technology transfer centers at Florida College System institutions.
The bill provides a public necessity statement as required by the Florida Constitution, specifying that the public record exemption is necessary to protect trade secret information provided to an agency by an individual or business because disclosure of such information to competitors of those businesses would be detrimental to the business. In addition, the exemption is necessary to protect trade secret information created by an agency in furtherance of the agency's duties and responsibilities, and disclosure of such information would be detrimental to the effective and efficient operation of the agency.
The bill provides for repeal of the exemption on October 2, 2025, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
The Senate companion SB1532(SB1534) by Senator Baxley has yet to be heard in its first of three committee stops the Senate Commerce and Tourism committee. SB1534 is a linked public records exemption bill.
5. LOSS RUN STATEMENTS SB292/HB269
SB292 by Senator Broxson creates loss run reporting requirements for all admitted and nonadmitted insurance carriers in all lines. The bill requires a carrier to provide a loss run statement to the insured within 15 days of receipt of a written request submitted by the insured. For personal lines of insurance, carriers may instead provide information on how to obtain a loss run statement through a consumer reporting agency. The loss run
statements must be provided electronically or made available through an electronic
portal, and the insurance carrier must notify the agent of record at the time the statement was provided. The bill requires the statement to include the preceding 5 years or, if the history is less than 5 years, a complete history with the carrier. The bill also prohibits a fee for preparing or annually providing the statement. SB292 passed its final stop Senate Rules this week and will be up next on the Senate Floor.
HB269 by Representative Perez is similar to the Senate bill and does not apply to health insurers. HB269 passed its second and final committee this week and is will be up next on the House floor.
6. COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE SB1460
SB 1460(Taddeo-D) Proposing amendments to the State Constitution to establish the position of Commissioner of Insurance as a statewide elected officer and to provide for the commissioner's inclusion on the Cabinet. The bill has not been heard and there is no House companion measure.
7. CONSUMER DATA PRIVACY HB963/SB1670
These bills by Representative Santiago and Senator Broxson are based on Nevada privacy model. Both bills have been referred to three committees and neither bill has been heard. The senate bill may receive a hearing in Banking & Insurance.
8. AGENT LICENSING - INCREASED PENALTIES FOR MISDEMEANORS SB1404/HB1077
SB1404 passed by its first committee, Banking & Insurance, on January 21st and will be up next in its next stop the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government. The bill increases the disqualifying period for all licenses and applicants governed by DFS, OIR and OFR to five years. The bill also increases other penalties for felonies.
HB1077 passed by its first committee, Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, on January 21st and will be up next in its final committee stop the House Commerce Committee.
1. NURSE REGISTRIES HB437/SB880
HB437 by Representative Stone has passed all three of its committees of reference and is now on the House floor. The bill authorizes use of licensed nurse registries for placement of attendant care provided for workers compensation purposes.
The companion measure, SB880 by Senator Baxley and will be up next in its second of three committees, Health Policy on February 11th.
1. OMNIBUS HB895/SB1606
HB895 by Santiago is an Omnibus insurance bill passed the first of its three committees on January 28th. A provision of the bill dealing with agent licensing states that a personal lines or general lines agent is not required to be licensed as a sale representative to advertise, solicit, negotiate or sell service warranties.
SB1606, the companion measure by Perry, passed its first committee on February 4th the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee but an amendment struck the warranty language from the bill. We hope to add that language to another insurance measure.
1. ASTBESTOS TRUST CLAIMS SB1582/HB741
HB741 by Representative Leek passed its second and final committee stop on January 28th in the House Judiciary committee and will be up next on the House floor. The bill would require plaintiffs to reveal their asbestos trust claims and provide defendants copies of documents related to their trust claims. The bill would also require plaintiffs to certify that they have investigated which trust claims are available to them and filed such claims where they have a basis to do so. The bill provides that should the court determine that there is a sufficient basis for the plaintiff to file an asbestos trust claim, the court shall stay the claim until after the plaintiff has filed.
Additionally, the bill bars a plaintiff from attempting to interfere with such discovery by asserting claims of privilege or confidentiality. The bill assists defendants in introducing evidence of trust claims at trial in support of their efforts to prove apportionment of liability by expressly providing that asbestos trust claims materials and trust governance documents are admissible in evidence, are presumed to be relevant, and are not subject to claims of privilege.
SB1582 by Senator Simmons passed its first committee the Senate Judiciary committee on February 4th and will be up next in Senate Commerce and Tourism. The Senate bill is similar to the House version, but does not include the provision relating to staying the case in the event that the court determines a trust claim should be filed.
2. ACCURACY IN DAMAGES SB1668/HB9
HB9 by Representative Leek passed its first of three committees the House Civil Justice Committee on January 29th and will be up next in House Commerce. The bill provides for calculation of damages for certain health care services, procedures, or equipment under specified circumstances. The bill would also specify that certain evidence is inadmissible at trial.
SB1668 filed by Senator Simmons passed its first committee on January 28th and will be up next in Senate Health Policy on February 11th. The bill requires that certain medical expenses in personal injury claims be based on certain usual and customary changes. The bill also specifies what constitutes a usual and customary charge. After Health Policy, the bill goes to Banking & Insurance and then Rules.
3. BAD FAITH SB924
SB924 by Senator Brandes was temporarily postponed in its first of three committees the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on February 4th and has been placed on the next committee agenda for February 11th. The bill
amends the civil remedies statute of the Insurance Code specific to third-party bad faith causes of action. The bill provides the insured or claimant has the burden of proving the insurer acted in bad faith through reckless disregard for the insured's rights and that this reckless disregard caused damaged to the insured or claimant. The bill also codifies legal precedent that the conduct of the insurer or claimant is relevant to the trier of fact and creates an affirmative defense where the conduct of the insured or claimant causes an excess judgment. The bill requires the insurer to advise the insured of settlement opportunities, probable outcome of litigation, and possibility of an excess judgment with steps to avoid such judgment. The bill precludes a third-party bad faith determination against the insurer if the insurer was ready and willing to settle for policy limits within 45 days of receiving the notice of loss. Finally, the bill precludes liability beyond policy limits in an interpleader case of two or more third-party claimants to a single claim if the insurer brings the interpleader action within 90 days of receiving notice of the competing claims.
The bill does not have a House companion at this time.
4. LAWSUIT REFORM - LITIGATION FINANCING SB1828/HB7041
HB 7041/SB 1828 This bill to prohibit financing of lawsuits has one committee stop in the Commerce Committee remaining in the House and will be heard in its first of three committee stops in the Senate, the Senate Banking and Insurance committee on February 11th. The bill creates the Litigation Financing Consumer Protection Act regulating litigation financing to protect Florida consumers.