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Volume 2, No. 7 - September 2013

News You Can Use

- Updating you on what's going on

CFO Jeff Atwater and Department of Financial Services Announce Additional Affordable Care Act Webinars

With the approach of the first open enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Floridians have many questions about their responsibilities under the law and how new options will affect their families and businesses.  Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and the Department of Financial Services want to make sure you have access to information and resources regarding the Affordable Care Act and announce additional informative webinars for individuals.

The Department of Financial Services' Division of Consumer Services has added webinars to the Affordable Care Act webinar schedule launched earlier this month.  In addition to the webinars that began this month for small businesses, webinars for individuals interested in learning more about the ACA have been scheduled for October.

For information on dates and times of the remaining webinars for small businesses and the additional webinars for individuals, please visit the new Health Insurance Reform & You website which is available in English and Spanish.

Also, the department’s toll free Consumer Helpline is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with assistance in English, Spanish, and Creole with specialists who can answer questions about the Affordable Care Act including eligibility requirements, the enrollment process and periods, available health plans, and qualification requirements for the premium assistance tax credit.

Online resources include consumer guides with comprehensive overviews on specific lines of insurance and an On Demand library of educational videos and presentations on financial and insurance topics. Individuals can call the toll-free helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) to obtain assistance or visit the division’s website at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Consumers to access these resources and a wealth of information regarding financial and insurance issues.

Notice of Withdrawal - Adjusters

The Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Agent & Agency Services, hereby provides Notice of Withdrawal for Rule Chapter 69B-220, Florida Administrative Code, relating to adjusters. The notice was filed with the Florida Department of State and officially published in the Florida Administrative Register on September 16, 2013.

The notice pertains to proposed changes to Rule 69B-220.051, F.A.C. (Conduct of Public Adjusters and Public Adjuster Apprentices) and Rule 69B-220.201, F.A.C. (Ethical Requirements for All Adjusters).

A Notice of Rulemaking will soon be published again of proposed amendments for the existing rule.
Click here to read the full text of the Notice of Withdrawal >>

CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Conviction of Former Allstate Employee in Insurance Scam

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the conviction of Yarden Lee Bracero, 39, a former Allstate employee in Jacksonville for diverting claims payments for her own personal use. Bracero pled guilty to one count of scheme to defraud and three counts of identity theft and was sentenced to a mandatory three years in prison and ordered to pay full restitution.
Click here to read the press release >>

CFO Atwater Offers 'Paying for College: Controlling Your Degree of Debt' To Guide College-Bound Students and Parents in Financial Decisions

In honor of College Savings Month in September, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced that the Department of Financial Services is teaming up for a second year with the Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (FASFAA) to offer a free webinar entitled “Paying for College: Controlling Your Degree of Debt.” As financial aid application deadlines are fast approaching, this webinar will provide valuable information on the variety of financial aid programs that can minimize college debt.
Click here to read the press release >>

CFO Atwater Announces Arrests of Three Miami PIP Fraudsters

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the arrests of three individuals in unrelated but similar PIP fraud investigations in Miami. Chiropractor David Louis Hirschenson, 55, was arrested for illegally soliciting accident victims and obtaining vehicle crash reports. Nester Sanchez, 39, and Chakira Vila Puentes, 45, owners of C & N Therapy Center, were arrested for insurance fraud and grand theft.
Click here to read the press release >>

CFO Jeff Atwater Invites You to Participate in Operation S.A.F.E. with 'Be Scam Smart' Workshops

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater launched Operation S.A.F.E (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) as part of his On Guard for Seniors initiative to help inform, empower, and protect Florida’s seniors from financial scams and fraud. The workshops are intended to protect seniors from becoming victims of consumer fraud, scams and identity theft.

The "Be Scam Smart" workshops are part of CFO Atwater's Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) initiative, the newest addition to On Guard for Seniors launched last year to educate seniors on specific financial topics such as annuities, identity theft, reverse mortgages and long-term care insurance.

Operation S.A.F.E. focuses on frauds and scams, such as fake lotteries and repair scams, and how these scams work. Scams that are addressed in the workshop include the Grandparent Scam, the Romance Scam, lotteries and sweepstakes, reverse mortgage scams, home improvement scam and more.

The "Be Scam Smart" workshops are presented by representatives from the Department's Division of Consumer Services, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

To learn more or to register for a workshop, visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com/SAFE.



Make Sure You Don't Miss Important Information From Us

We highly recommend licensees to routinely check their MyProfile account(s) for messages from the Department. We send an email notification at the same time to remind you to check your MyProfile account but on rare occasions you may not receive that email. For that reason, we suggest you add our domain MyFloridaCFO.com to your email software's Trusted or Safe Senders List to ensure you are able to receive email notifications from us. Licensees who have a valid email address on file with the Department, as required by law, are sent important email notifications when something that affects their application, license, continuing education, or appointment(s) occurs. Additionally, we will keep you informed with warnings regarding new schemes and scams being marketed to licensees. You can update your contact information through your MyProfile account. We want to keep you informed in a timely manner of pertinent information. You are still required to abide by the Florida Insurance Code regardless of whether you read the information we provide or attempt to provide.