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Regulatory Update

Florida cuts workers’ comp rates, NAIC reviewing privacy model law and Australia updates the capital framework for private health insurance.
  • January 2020
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Workers' Compensation: Florida businesses statewide will see an overall decrease of 7.5% for workers' compensation insurance rates, following an order signed by Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier.

The order applies to new and renewal workers' compensation insurance policies effective in Florida as of Jan. 1, 2020, according to a statement from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

The overall statewide reduction in Florida follows similar actions by other states, including California.

In October, Altmaier filed an order with the National Council on Compensation Insurance disapproving NCCI's filing of a 5.4% overall statewide reduction.

The deeper rate cut could be attributed to increased innovation in workplace practices and continued emphasis on safety for employees, Altmaier said in the statement.

Privacy Protection: Insurance industry representatives urged regulators at the first gathering of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Privacy Protections (D) Working Group to be careful and thoughtful about what they do as the panel works on bringing NAIC's aged privacy model laws up to date.

The working group is tasked with making recommendations to refresh the NAIC's model laws on privacy, which date back to 1980, 1998 and 2000.

“Given that the models are almost 40 years old, they are not technologically accurate,” said group Chairwoman Cynthia Amann of Missouri. The committee at least needs to bring them up to the present time regarding technology, she said. Rewriting is a possibility, she said.

They don't have a lot of time. Amann said the group has to report recommendations by the end of 2020.

Health Insurance: The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has begun the third part of its policy review to update and strengthen the capital framework for private health insurance.

APRA's proposed structure for the new private health insurance capital framework includes aligning it with the framework applying to life and general insurers, unless characteristics of the industry warrant a different approach; integrating changes arising from new accounting standards; and applying the capital framework to the insurer's entire business, rather than just its health benefits fund.

The changes are “aimed at improving the sensitivity of prudential capital requirements to the risks private health insurers face, and improving the comparability of performance between insurers,” it said.

“With the PHI industry under pressure from the twin dilemmas of worsening affordability and adverse selection, a strong capital base is vital to keep insurers resilient and able to pay all legitimate claims from policyholders,” said APRA executive board member Geoff Summerhayes. “While it's possible the revised framework may increase some insurers' minimum capital requirements, we don't expect this to be significant.”

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