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Office Announces New Resource for Consumers to Comment on Life and Health Form and Rate Filings

Targeted News Service

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Nov. 16 -- The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation issued the following news release:

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) today announced the creation of a new resource for consumers to provide input on pending life and health insurance form and rate filings. This new feature will allow interested parties to express feedback regarding proposed changes to filings received by the Office from life and health insurance companies.

"Hearing the opinions of Florida's consumers about proposed changes to their insurance is considered a top priority of the Office. This feature presents a suitable forum for those opinions to be heard and considered," stated Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. First, to review a particular form or rate filing for a life or health insurance company, consumers can visit the Office's website at www.floir.com. Under the "Company Filing", "Industry Data" or "Newsroom" tabs at the top of the homepage, select the "Filing Search" option. On this page, consumers can then directly access the "search engine" to review individual form and rate filings made by various life and health insurance companies through the I-File workflow system.

To provide feedback on one or more of these filings, consumers should return to the "Filing Search" page and click on the link entitled "Submit comments for a Life & Health rate and/or form filing". Comments submitted for any of these filings will be compiled and reviewed by staff at the Office. The comment form provides text boxes to enter the selected form or rate filing's log number, the company's name, consumer's e-mail address (required for contact purposes), and any comments the consumer might have. A confirmation e-mail will be sent stating that the comment was received by the office. All submissions are subject to Florida's broad public records laws. Therefore, the Office encourages consumers to refrain from including any personal or private health information. This includes patient and physicians' names, policy numbers, medical conditions, social security numbers, or any other information that is personal in nature. Consumers who choose to submit comments are further asked to refrain from using language that is not suitable for a public audience. Consumers must acknowledge that their comments will become part of a public record and accept that they may be reviewed by staff at the Office and are subject to public information requests. In addition, the Office provides online reports with specific life and health insurance rate data at: http://www.floir.com/Office/DataReports.aspx. On this page and listed under the Life and Health section, there is a general industry report entitled "Approved Accident and Health Rate Changes YTD" and a consumer-friendly version reflecting 12 months of data entitled "For Consumers: Health Insurance Rate Changes". While the Office encourages the submission of comments, consumers should note that if they have questions about their policy, benefits or rates, or if they would like to file a formal complaint about their insurance provider, they are encouraged to contact the Department of Financial Services' Consumer Services toll-free helpline at (877) 693-5236 or visit their website at: www.myfloridacfo.com. ?

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