In response to the tropical storm that hit its panhandle region today, Florida’s insurance commissioner has issued an emergency order suspending certain statutes regulating prescription refills.

The emergency order affects health insurers, health maintenance organizations and other entities regulated by the Office of Insurance Regulation.

The commissioner, Kevin McCarty, said the order intends to help residents affected by Tropical Storm Alberto to refill prescriptions. The order temporarily lifts restrictions that refills must be given in 30-day batches. Instead, providers can fill prescriptions through July 31, 2006.