DecisionHR has been closely monitoring the regulatory environment in Florida this year, and we want to alert our clients in the Sunshine State of a game-changing ruling.
Effective October 1, 2016, a state-wide, mandated increase in the rates of Florida workers compensation will go into effect for all businesses in Florida. The details of individual rate increases have not yet been released; however, we have detailed the critical points from the Florida rate setting body, NCCI. This includes the NCCI amending the pending Florida workers compensation rate filing to +19.6%.
On April 28, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Castellanos vs. Next Door Company, declaring Section 440.34, Florida Statutes, unconstitutional. The anticipated impact of the decision is the elimination of the statutory caps on claimant attorney fees, and a return to hourly fees.
On June 9, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of Bradley Westphal vs. City of St. Petersburg, declaring the 104-week limitation on temporary total disability benefits, established in Section 440.15(2)(a), Florida Statutes, unconstitutional.
The anticipated impact of the decision is a combined 260-week limitation on temporary disability benefits (temporary total disability and/or temporary partial disability).
What this means for the Florida business owner
On May 27, 2016, NCCI submitted its filing to the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). It included components for two law changes – the first-year impact for Castellanos of +15% and an impact of +1.8% in response to SB 1402 which ratified updates to the Florida Workers’ Compensation Health Care Provider Reimbursement Manual.
On June 30, 2016, NCCI amended the above-mentioned filing to include a third component as a result of the Westphal decision. NCCI estimates that the impact of Westphal will be an increase in overall Florida workers compensation system costs of +2.2%. At the direction of the OIR, NCCI amended the effective date of the filing to October 1, 2016.
DecisionHR will keep you updated as more information becomes available. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact you HR Business Partner.