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Sunshine State Regulator May Move Against Insurer

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Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty says the state Office of Insurance Regulation believes it has grounds for starting delinquency proceedings against a health insurer in the state.

McCarty says the insurer, Universal Health Care Insurance Company, St. Petersburg, Fla., “has failed to increase its reserves to the level necessary to comply with the Florida Insurance Code and, based on the information provided by the company, is insolvent.”

Universal Health earlier had agreed to a consent order of liquidation so that delinquency proceedings could be initiated by the Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation if the company failed to come into compliance with the Florida’s financial requirements by March 23, McCarty says.

Universal Health countered with a statement saying that Judge Thomas Batement, a state court judge in Leon County, Fla., has granted a writ giving Universal Health at least 60 days to comply with the consent order.

The judge also has told regulators to hold back on appointing the state Department of Financial Services as a receiver for the purposes of liquidation until the end of the 60-day time period, Universal Health says.

“Universal Health Care will continue to work cooperatively with the state of Florida to address regulatory requirements,” Universal Health says in the statement. “During this regulatory process, there will be no gap in insurance coverage for any member. Members do not need to take any action until the regulatory issues have been resolved at the conclusion of the 60-day period.”

Universal Health runs Medicare plans in Florida.