Mary Beth Senkewicz, a nationally known health insurance and senior issues policy expert, has left the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, where she was Commissioner Kevin McCarty’s deputy. She is likely headed back to Washington.

Michelle Robleto will now serve as the new Deputy Insurance Commissioner for Life and Health Insurance.  Robleto has served as the executive director of the Florida Comprehensive Health Association (FCHA) from 2001 to 2007, as Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association (the forerunner to Citizens Property Insurance Corp.), and as a director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware.

Senkewicz served in the role as the Deputy Insurance Commissioner since August 2007.

The change comes at a time when Florida is in the spotlight for its opposition to various elements of PPACA. Politico has reported that the Blue Cross Blue Shield lobby is trying to overcome red-state opposition to the health plan exchanges. Florida is one state that has outright rejected help from the federal government to set up an exchange. Commissioner McCarty earlier this year also sent back to HHS a $1 million grant it had won for rate reviews, and a Florida judge ruled that PPACA as written is unconstitutional back in January.

Also, McCarty has made known his support behind a proposed medical loss ratio adjustment to PPACA that would benefit producers, agents and brokers, if health insurers do return compensation removed from earned premium calculations to them. The NAIC has not thrown its support behind the measure, H.R. 1206, which is stalled in Congress.

 “We do support H.R. 1206, but our NAIC representatives in Washington do not believe this bill has good prospects for passage this Congress,” said a Florida department spokesman.

Senkewicz was formerly senior health policy counsel and legislative advisor at the NAIC for over 11 years. Also, in Washington, she had a private consulting business specializing in health policy and insurance. She has helped the Egyptian government establish a health insurance regulatory unit, and has worked on issues affecting health insurance regulation from ERISA, PPACA, HIPAA compliance to Medicare drug plans and long term care insurance.

Although she is a New York City native, she started out in insurance regulation in Wyoming.

As the Deputy Insurance Commissioner for Life and Health, Ms. Robleto will oversee the daily activities of the Life and Health Product Review and Life and Health Financial Oversight Units, which provide oversight and services to insurers operating in Florida including life and health form and rate filings, licensure, and financial solvency.  Ms. Robleto’s first day at the office will be Oct. 31.