On October 24, 2011, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty approved a proposed 8.9 percent rate hike requested by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. The rate increase will take effect on January 1, 2012. Florida’s workers’ compensation rates remain among the lowest in the country and the lowest among large states – about 59 percent lower than in 2003.

Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) recently announced that it will seek legislation during the 2012 session to close a loophole in the workers’ compensation law that allows physicians to dispense drugs rather than pharmacies. The repackaging practice involves doctors dispensing drugs to injured workers rather than pharmacists filling the prescription. Supporters of physician dispensing, including the Florida Medical Association, argue that the practice encourages patient compliance. AIF contends that the prices for repackaged drugs are inflated and account for a 2.5 percent increase in the proposed workers’ compensation rate increase.