NU Online News Service, July 30, 1:47 p.m. – A state appeals court in Tallahassee, Fla., has given American Medical Security Group Inc., Green Bay, Wis., permission to continue to sell major medical insurance in Florida while the company battles the Florida Department of Insurance.
The Florida department issued an order July 24 that would have suspended American Medical’s license to operate in the state for one year.
The Florida 1st District Court of Appeal has responded by staying the order. The stay will be effective until the court rules on American Medical’s request to overturn the Florida department’s order.
The court has not yet set a date for a hearing on the appeal, American Medical says.
American Medical sells major medical insurance to individuals and small groups.
Florida insurance regulators have accused the company of violating state health insurance pricing rules by dividing groups of customers into underwriting “tiers,” or classes, when setting rates.
American Medical says that it believes it has been complying with state pricing laws and regulations, and that Florida regulators have rebuffed its efforts to negotiate a compromise.
“We remain confident that we will prevail in the appeal process,” Samuel Miller, American Medical chairman, said in a statement about the dispute.
American Medical also announced that it will voluntarily change the way it prices business in Florida starting Nov. 1. The company will switch to rating blocks of business, from rating groups of customers in tiers.
American Medical is switching because Florida regulators seem to prefer the block rating approach, but the switch should not have much of an effect on revenue, the company says.