CFO Alex Sink's Consumer eViews Newsletter

Volume 5 Number 30 July 25, 2008

CONSUMER SERVICES HELPLINE 877-MY-FL-CFO

Did you know that every year, the State of Florida auctions thousands of valuables, including jewelry, rare coins, sports memorabilia and historical items?

This year, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink's Bureau of Unclaimed Property will be holding a public auction at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa Bay on August 2nd.  For additional details, please visit www.FLTreasureHunt.org

You can preview the items for auction on Friday, August 1st, and the auction will be held Saturday, August 2nd.  In order to preview and bid at the auction, you will need to bring your valid driver’s license and make a refundable one-hundred dollar cash deposit.  Proceeds from the auction benefit Florida’s public schools.

Come join us at the Unclaimed Property auction on August 2nd, where you can bid on a piece of Florida’s treasure!



CFO SINK APPOINTS JIM MALONE AS NEW CHAIRMAN OF CITIZENS BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced Friday the appointment of James R. Malone as the Chairman of the Board of Governors for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, effective August 1, 2008. Citizens is one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies in the nation and the largest property insurer in Florida.

Malone, 65, from Naples, has more than forty years of experience as an entrepreneur, manager and CEO of several Fortune 500 companies.

“Jim’s tremendous experience leading major corporations and reputation for improving business practices will greatly benefit Florida’s insurance consumers,” said CFO Sink. “As Chairman of the Citizens Board of Governors, Jim brings sound finance and management principles that will help ensure the largest property insurance company in the state operates with the transparency that the people of Florida expect.” CONTINUED



 


 

"You Might Be Rich!"

ON DATELINE NBC

GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE, SOLD!  CFO SINK TO AUCTION LOST TREASURE IN TAMPA BAY

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced that the State of Florida will auction off more than 40,000 unclaimed items estimated to be worth more than $500,000 at an upcoming auction on Saturday, August 2, 2008, at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.

CFO Sink and Florida’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property (Bureau) were recently featured in a national Dateline NBC special returning a Purple Heart to the widow and family of a war-wounded Vietnam veteran. CFO Sink’s Bureau is one of the nation’s best in returning unclaimed property. During Sink’s tenure as CFO, she already has returned more than $322 millio
Diamond ringn to the rightful owners (or heirs) of 496,374 accounts.

“Every year, the State of Florida auctions thousands of valuables, including jewelry, rare coins, sports memorabilia and historical items,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “I encourage everyone to come by the auction for an opportunity to bid on a piece of Florida’s lost treasure.”

CFO Sink’s Unclaimed Property Auction will be held:

Date:        Saturday, August 2, 2008.

Time:       Registration opens at 8:00 a.m.
                Auction will begin at 10:00 a.m.

Location: Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
                2900 Bayport Drive
                Tampa, FL 33607
                Hotel Contact: 813-874-1234   


CONTINUED


My Family CFO
Are you the chief financial officer of your family? Are you always looking out for the best deals, wise investments and smart moves for your family's financial security?

As your family's fiscal
watch dog, keep an eye on this column for money-smart ideas from the Chief Financial Officer of Florida, Alex Sink.

Idea: Parents Can Get Credit for Sending Kids to Day Camp

 

From the IRS...

 

Here’s a tax break for the busy summer.  Many working parents must arrange for care of their children under 13 years of age during the school vacation period. A popular solution — with a tax benefit — is a day camp program.

 

The cost of day camp can count as an expense towards the child and dependent care credit. Expenses for overnight camps do not qualify. If your childcare provider is a sitter at your home or a daycare facility outside the home, you'll get some tax benefit if you qualify for the credit.   

The credit is generally 20% to 35% of non-reimbursed expenses; up to $3000 in expenses for one child and up to $6000 for two or more children.  The actual credit is also based on your income.  The 35% rate applies if your income is under $15,000; the 20% rate, if your income is over $43,000. 

For more information, check out IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses available on the IRS Web site, IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). 

Remember that for the genuine IRS Web site be sure to use .gov.  Don't be confused by internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is www.irs.gov.


CFO ALEX SINK CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT AUDIT TO ENSURE WELLCARE FULLY REFUNDS FLORIDA HEALTHY KIDS

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink called for an independent audit after Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans, Inc. reported “errors” resulting in $46.5 million of overpayments, including millions from Florida’s Healthy Kids program.

“It is essential that we recover every last dime that WellCare owes the Florida Healthy Kids program,” said CFO Sink. “Today I’m calling for Healthy Kids to conduct an exhaustive and independent audit to ensure this program is made whole.”

WellCare recorded overpayments for two Florida programs, a contract with Florida Healthy Kids Corporation and the behavioral health components of an Agency for Health Care Administration Medicaid contract. CFO Sink has asked Florida Healthy Kids Executive Director Rich Robleto to retain third-party auditors to verify the amount owed to the program. CFO Sink serves as Chair of the Healthy Kids Board of Directors.


CFO SINK'S INSURANCE FRAUD DIVISION, FBI & US ATTORNEY WORK TOGETHER TO BRING INSURANCE AGENT TO JUSTICE

Thomas F. Kirwin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced that Ashley Hunnicutt Barkocy, 37, of Shalimar, Florida, has been charged with one count of insurance fraud and 23 counts of wire fraud. Barkocy is an insurance agent and Vice President of “John M. Hunnicutt Insurance & Investments” in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.

The indictment alleges Barkocy accepted insurance premiums from condominium association clients and represented to the clients that she would use the money to obtain or maintain insurance coverage on behalf of the clients. After accepting the money from clients, the indictment alleges Barkocy did not forward all of the money to the insurance carriers as represented. Rather, the indictment charges that Barkocy kept money for her own use and for the use of Hunnicutt Insurance. Consequently, many of her condominium clients had no multi-peril insurance during the 2002-2006 time period. CONTINUED


 

LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE: STATES PROTECT, EDUCATE CONSUMERS

Four members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) testified on July 24 before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce at a hearing titled, “Long-Term Care Insurance: Are Consumers Protected for the Long Term?”

Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Sean Dilweg, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, New York State Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo and Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler described the efforts of state insurance regulators to ensure that long-term care insurance remains affordable over the life of a policy and that benefits delivered by policies remain meaningful when claims are filed. CONTINUED