On September 24, 2010, the Florida Health Insurance Advisory Board and the state's Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) held a joint public hearing to review the impact of the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) requirements contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The Board then passed a resolution to seek a waiver from the MLR requirements. The official petition for a waiver would be filed by OIR with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after a public comment period that will end on October 8.
Maine and Iowa have already requested waivers of the MLR provisions, which require individual and small-group plans to spend 80% of their premium dollars on health care and large-group plans to spend 85% on care beginning January 1, 2011. Beginning in 2012, plans that fail to comply will be required to give rebates to insureds.
In a statement, Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, the chairman of the Advisory Board, expressed concern that the MLR requirements would "cause disruptions in the Florida health insurance marketplace." In Maine and Iowa, regulators are concerned that insurers could cease offering certain types of policies, limiting consumers' choices, rather than comply with the requirements.