Fla. DFS Fines Workers’ Comp Carriers, Self-Insured Plans More than $875,000 for Violations

July 13, 2004

The Florida Department of Financial Services has fined 31 providers of workers’ compensation coverage a total of more than $875,000 for failing to fully comply with Florida law in administering workers’ comp benefits to injured workers, according to Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher. The fines are the result of audits completed during the fiscal year 2003-04.

“Floridians deserve a healthy workers’ compensation system,” Gallagher said. “For businesses paying into the system, employees deserve to receive the full benefits afforded them under Florida law. Insurance companies that don’t comply with the law will be held accountable.”

Insurance companies and self-insured plans are judged under statutory standards related to:

* Timely payments to injured workers;
* Timely payment of bills to medical providers;
* Timely filings of notice of injury reports to the Department of Financial Services.

Florida law requires carriers to promptly pay injured workers and medical providers in 95 percent of total cases in order to avoid penalties.

Gallagher recently lowered annual assessments paid by carriers and self-insured plans to fund the administration of the workers’ comp system. Revenues derived from the assessment cover expenses for the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims, a portion of the Agency for Health Care Administration, a portion of the Department of Education, and a portion of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fraud. Over the last two years, Gallagher has reduced the annual assessment from 2 percent to 0.75 percent.

Attached is a list of the 31 carriers fined during fiscal year 2003-04.

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