In my zeal in getting the Florida 2016.17 workers’ compensation rate “soap opera” to end, I suggested that the FL OIR appeal dealt with the conclusion for Florida workers’ compensation rates from 12.1.06 and beyond. It has not.
Impact is the same, but outcome in flux in terms of if the 12.1.16 rates will be upheld or not upon the OIR appeal. No current understanding of when this appeal happens or process thereof.
Thankfully, I have friends who are lawyers and lobbyists that do this for a living and understand the legal system whom have corrected me and thus wanted to pass on to you.
This is a detailed link that provides what I would consider some of the most salient points to consider as this journey towards finality continues:
“On the day before Thanksgiving, Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled that the rate increase negotiated between the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which represents insurers, and the state regulators within the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR), cannot go into effect and that NCCI must turn over documents requested by the plaintiff in the case.”
“The Sunshine Law challenge was brought by James Fee, a Miami attorney who represents injured workers. Fee claimed, and the judge agreed, that NCCI was in violation of the Sunshine Laws in holding “multiple, non-public, secret meetings” internally and with the OIR over the rates.”
…and then this story from Pensacola Business Journal that brings some clarity to the OIR appeal, but not much more then that…
“A 14.5 percent increase to state workers’ compensation rates will take effect Dec. 1 after the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation filed an appeal to a ruling that would have voided the rate hike.”
– Key words here are “would have voided” or I may have used may void if appeal is not won by OIR.
“The increase occurs after the OIR filed a notice of appeal with the First District Court of Appeal Monday. It came in response to a court order from Circuit Judge Karen Gievers of Leon County Nov. 23 that voided the increase.”
– So as I understand it then, the carriers are rolling out the 12/1 rate sets based on the OIR appeal holding the Gievers judgement in check. The appeal itself allows this, but it has not been heard yet. Not sure the length of this appeal process, whether NCCI will file a secondary 1/1 rate filing just in case, or most importantly, what this means over the next twelve months to the Florida workers compensation cost basis for PEO and overall business.
I jumped the gun in yesterday’s post. The impact of the appeal being filed is that, as of now, the rate increase scheduled for 12/1 is going into effect. However, the matter is not finally determined, as the appeal is still pending. Such an important fiscal event where the outcome is unknown for an unknown period of time. As they say, NEWS at 11… And more as we understand where this goes next.
- Paul R. Hughes