May 3, 2016
May 03, 2016
On April 14, 2016, Gov. Scott signed House Bill No. 221 into law. This law requires plans to provide coverage for treatment of down syndrome when the participant is younger than age 18 or older than age 18 and attending high school, if they were diagnosed as having developmental disabilities before reaching age eight.
The law also requires issuers to provide coverage for emergency services regardless of whether those services are performed by participating or nonparticipating health-care providers. Additionally, issuers cannot require prior authorization for emergency services. This portion of the law is very similar to PPACA’s requirement that emergency services be covered without regard to whether provided in or out of network; note though, that this requirement would apply to plans insured in Florida whether the plan is grandfathered under PPACA or not.
This law is effective July 1, 2016.
House Bill No. 221 »
FL State Updates - 2015 Jan 16 No.01
June 16, 2015
Beginning July 1, 2015, Florida employers with 15 or more employees cannot discriminate on the basis of pregnancy. This prohibition comes after the Florida Supreme Court ruled in 2014 in Delva v. Cont’l Group, Inc., 137 So. 3d 371 (Fla. 2014) that pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Florida employment law. As a result, employers cannot fail or refuse to hire, discharge or otherwise discriminate in compensation or terms, conditions and privileges of employment on the basis of pregnancy. The law does allow employers to take an action based on pregnancy if such action is justified based on a bona fide occupational qualification that is necessary for job performance. The law also allows employers to abide by the terms of bona fide employee benefit plans that measure earnings by production as long as the terms are not designed to evade the pregnancy discrimination laws.
Fla. Stat. 760.10 »
Delva v. Cont’l Group, Inc. »
FL State Updates - 2015 Jan 28 No.01
January 28, 2015
On Jan. 13, 2015, the DOL and the state of Florida signed a memorandum of understanding announcing that they will work together to prevent the improper classification of employees as independent contractors or other nonemployee workers. The agreement states that the two entities will share information and coordinate enforcement in an effort to protect employee rights by reducing the practice of misclassification of employees.
The agreement arose as part of the DOL Misclassification Initiative. Sixteen other states have signed similar agreements: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Utah and Washington. Employers should be aware of the increased attention given to the misclassification issue by the DOL and by state agencies. This is an important issue for all size employers, but specifically large employers who are subject to the employer mandate must identify full-time employees and offer them affordable, minimum value coverage, or else pay a penalty. Misclassification of employees can significantly impact the potential liability under the employer mandate for these employers.
DOL News Release »
DOL Misclassification Initiative Web Page »
FL State Updates - 2015 Jan 13 No.01
January 13, 2015
On Jan. 5, 2015, the stay on enforcement of same-sex marriages in Florida expired, making same-sex marriage legal in Florida as of Jan. 6, 2015. As background, in August of 2014, Federal District Court Judge Hinkle ruled in Brenner v. Scott (999 F. Supp. 2d 1278, 2014) that the Florida same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. However, at that time, he issued a stay on enforcement of same-sex marriage, pending appeal. Florida appealed this decision to the 11th Circuit, and on Dec.3, 2014, the 11th Circuit denied a request to extend the stay. On Dec. 19, 2014, the Supreme Court also refused to issue an injunction that would lift the stay. On Jan. 1, 2015, Judge Hinkle directed clerks in Florida to issue same-sex marriage licenses beginning Jan. 6, 2014.
Brenner v. Scott »