- Keeping you informed is what it's all about
We are frequently asked by licensees whether they can cancel their appointments on file with the Department for an insurer. This has been an area of understandable confusion as only insurers and certain approved appointing entities can appoint individual licensees. Licensees can cancel any or all of their appointments with insurers through their MyProfile account or by contacting the Division's Bureau of Licensing at AgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that training for the 2016 plan year is now available. For more information please visit the Agents and Brokers Resources web page at the www.CMS.gov website. The Department does not sponsor registration or training and all inquiries should be directed to CMS.
Agents and brokers will access both the MLMS and CMS-approved vendor training via the CMS Enterprise Portal. Agents will need to input their National Producer Number (NPN) in order to complete the training curriculum. Agents who enter the wrong NPN may have to re-complete the curriculum, so it is very important the correct NPN is entered. Agent NPNs can be found at https://nipr.com.
Completion of a training curriculum, including the associated exams, through one of the above CMS-approved vendors will fulfill the FFM training requirement for agents and brokers registering to participate in the Individual and/or Small Business Health Options Program Marketplaces for plan year 2016. Vendors may also charge a fee for taking their training.
Agents can assist individuals and small groups with completing the eligibility applications, comparing and selecting qualified health plans (QHPs), and enrolling through the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) and small group marketplace (FF-SHOP).
Agents can assist consumers in two ways: 1) Use the insurer's website to assist the consumer; or 2) Use the Marketplace website. All agents must register with CMS in order to assist qualified individuals and small groups with coverage through the Marketplace.
There are two types of reenrollment: active and passive. An active reenrollment is a reenrollment that is initiated by an enrollee who returns to the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM), such as Florida’s, during the Marketplace Annual Open Enrollment Period (November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016) and updates their application and selects a plan for the next plan year. A passive reenrollment, also called an “auto-reenrollment” is a reenrollment initiated by the FFM to continue coverage through the FFM for current enrollees who do not return to the FFM to update their application and select a plan by December 15, 2015.
Direct Enrollment (by consumers) and Agents/Brokers
FFM enrollees enrolled through Direct Enrollment (DE) in 2015 and who still have coverage as of October 15, 2015, will be passively reenrolled just as other enrollees, with FFMs sending passive reenrollments to insurance carriers (issuers) using the 2016 plan indicated by the issuer. These passive reenrollments will follow the same rules for passive reenrollments described in Sections III and IV of the bulletin linked below.
If the 2015 enrollment had a National Producer Number (NPN – this like a national license# issued by a national database for agents/brokers) associated with it, the 2016 enrollment will include the NPN. If an enrollee wants to end their association with the agent/broker, he or she must actively enroll by completing a 2016 application, removing the NPN, and making a plan selection.
If enrollees enrolled through DE or a web-broker have updated eligibility information to report (such as a change in job status, etc.), they may start at their DE issuer and be redirected to their FFM to update their 2016 application and complete plan selection on the DE issuer or web-broker’s site. DE also accommodates enrollees who came directly to the FFM in 2015 and want to enroll through DE for 2016. Similarly, the enrollee could come to his or her FFM directly to complete a 2016 application and plan selection. Both of the latter scenarios would be considered active reenrollment. Please note, unlike 2015’s Annual Open Enrollment Period, during which an enrollee needed to create a new application, for 2016, a 2016 application will be generated for the enrollee through passive reenrollment, and the enrollee should work off of that pre-populated application when returning to his or her FFM to actively enroll in 2016 coverage.
Agents/Brokers who are assisting an applicant with the completion of an application will have the option to search for a consumer’s 2016 application and edit the pre-populated 2016 application. Agents/Brokers who are completing an application on behalf of an applicant will also have the ability to search for existing applications (multiple plan years) and view the consumers’ “My Account” pages. For existing enrollees, Agents/Brokers should not start a new 2016 application without searching to see if an enrollee has a 2016 pre-populated application created by passive reenrollment. As with last year, when a new transaction is sent via DE, the associated NPN is sent as part of that transaction; the NPN is not manually entered.
More information can be found at https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/2016AutoReenrollmentBulletin16.pdf.
Agents wanting additional information should refer to the HHS/Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) website at http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Marketplaces/a-b-resources.html.
In order to participate in either or both Marketplaces, agents must be licensed and appointed. Agents must continue to comply with all state laws and the Florida Department of Financial Services will continue to be the primary regulatory authority overseeing agents.
There are moments that arise, such as retirement or a new business pursuit, that could cause a bail bond agent to close their bail bond agency. This article provides general guidelines to bail bond agents who are closing a bail bond agency location.
Contact the surety companies
Notify each surety company that you represent of your intention to close the bail bond agency. Be sure to obtain formal guidance on the proper handling of your agency’s records, including unused powers and the collateral in your possession for the bail bonds issued for their company.
Notify the Department
Send a letter to us advising the date your bail bond agency will close, the location of your agency’s files, the location of the collateral being held on the bonds written and an explanation of how consumers will receive the return of their collateral at the conclusion of their cases. This should be done within 10 days of the closing. The letter may be mailed with the primary bail bond agent designation form DFS-H2-1541 as you will need to delete the designated primary bail bond agent for the agency as well. [s.648.387, F.S.]
On a related matter, a bail bond agent must notify us within 10 working days if you change your name, residence address, principal business street address or mailing address, e-mail address, or contact telephone numbers. This is quickly and easily done by logging in to your MyProfile account. Alternatively, this is done with form
DFS-H2-1564. [s.648.421, F.S.]
You can download forms from our web site, www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents/Licensure/Forms. Any completed form should be submitted to the address or fax number listed on the form.
Contact your customers
Mail a notice to each customer (defendants and indemnitors), advising them of the closing of the agency and whom they can contact regarding their bonds. If the managing general agent (MGA) or surety company has not yet approved a new servicing agent, then the notice should direct your customers to contact the MGA or surety company. The notice should include an office telephone number for the servicing agent or surety company.
Notify the Department’s Division of Consumer Services of your agency’s closing in the event your customers contact them. You can do this by going to AskFLDFS and selecting "Consumer Services" as the recipient.
It is important to keep all bank accounts active until all outstanding checks have cleared. Checks returned due to insufficient funds will likely trigger a formal investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services concerning the proper accounting and remittance of fiduciary funds. Reminder: s.648.295, F.S., prohibits withholding moneys belonging to others in the conduct of business under a bail bond license issued by the Department.
Agency files and records
Florida law requires every licensee to preserve books, accounts and records pertaining to a premium payment for at least three years after after the liability of the surety has been terminated. Any agent closing a bail bond agency must make provisions for the records to be available for inspection in accordance with law. You can comply with the law by transferring the files to a new servicing agent or returning the files to the appropriate surety company. Keep detailed records of any files you have transferred. Do not throw documents containing confidential or personal information into the garbage without following the appropriate destruction methods. [s.648.36, F.S.]
The most current Florida Statutes can be viewed at Online Sunshine - Title XXXVII Insurance.
This section has been created to assist you in keeping your insurance business in compliance. The items are intended as reminders only. Note: Division publications may include references to the Florida Statutes and/or the Florida Administrative Code. The laws noted in our publications are/were in effect at the time of publication but may have been repealed, amended or replaced and new laws may have been enacted subsequently.