Florida Rejects Workers' Comp Rate Hike

Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said that he's not going to approve the workers' comp rate hike that had been requested by insurers.

The industry's National Council on Compensation Insurance filed for a 1 percent increase, but after the Office of Insurance Regulation analyzed the numbers, McCarty shot down the request on Wednesday.

He did say that insurers are free to resubmit another request and that chances are good it would be approved. But only if it was something slightly lower than 1 percent, such as 0.7 percent, for example.

Had the rate hike been approved, it would been the fourth consecutive year to have done so.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance, which collects data on behalf of insurance companies, had submitted the request.

But the data showed an increase in expenses that would not be supported by information given by the NCCI, according to the Office of Insurance Regulation.

"Although a marginal rate increase is necessary for worker's compensation insurance in Florida, the underlying factors causing the spike in rate increases over the last four years still merit legislative attention," stated Florida's Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty.

"Evidence from the hearing demonstrated that rates could be reduced by as much as 8.3 percent if the reimbursement for hospital inpatient, hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgical centers were statutorily limited to 120 percent of Medicare reimbursement,"

If another request is filed, that rate hike would not take effect until the beginning of the new year.

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