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Florida Negotiates Agreement With Medicare Player

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A rapidly growing Sunshine State health carrier has promised to work more closely with regulators.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has issued consent orders to Universal Health Care Insurance Company Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla., a health insurer, and to a health maintenance organization affiliate, Universal Health Care Inc.

Universal Health expanded its Medicare HMO program this year and also launched a family of fast-selling Medicare Advantage private fee-for-service plans.

The Universal Health insurance company affiliate has admitted to generating about $816 million more premium revenue than the $56 million in premium revenue the company had originally predicted it would collect, Florida insurance regulators report.

Rapid growth left the company with too little policyholder surplus to support the volume of business the company was writing, officials say.

The HMO affiliate also failed to meet Florida reporting requirements, officials say.

The Universal Health insurance company affiliate has agreed to pay $100,000 in administrative fines to reimburse the state for $250,000 in examination costs, to submit monthly financial reports to insurance regulators, and to be placed under administrative supervision for up to 8 months, officials say.

The Universal Health HMO affiliate has agreed to pay $100,000 in fines, to pay regulators’ examination expenses, and to submit monthly financial statements to regulators for 2 years, officials say.

Universal Health is welcoming the announcement of the agreement with Florida regulators.

“It’s good news for us and it’s good news for our members,” company spokesman Bob O’Malley says.

Universal Health now will focus on corrective actions for what it sees as being technical violations, O’Malley says.

“This company is financially stable,” O’Malley says. “This will just make us a stronger company.”


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