CFO ALEX SINK ANNOUNCES RICHARD
ROBLETO AS NEW HEALTHY KIDS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also serves as the chair of
the Healthy Kids Board, announced the Board has appointed Richard Robleto as
the new Executive Director of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation.
“This is an exciting day for the Healthy Kids program,” said CFO Sink, who
oversees the Department of Financial Services. “Under Rich’s proven
leadership, I am confident that more of Florida’s children will receive the
affordable health care they deserve.”
Before his appointment, Robleto served as Executive Vice President of the
Florida Association of Health Plans (FAHP). Robleto also worked for the
Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) and the former Department of Insurance
for eight years, where he served as the Deputy Commissioner of Life and
Health Insurance and the Bureau Chief of Life and Health Product Review.
While at the OIR, Robleto received national recognition as outstanding
regulator of the year. Before moving to Florida, Robleto spent 26 years at
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Delaware, serving as Vice President of the
Corporation and General Manager of its Life Insurance subsidiary and Vice
“I have always admired the Healthy Kids program, and I consider it a
tremendous honor to have been selected as Executive Director,” said Robleto.
“I look forward to working with CFO Sink and the Healthy Kids Board to
expand our efforts to help working families purchase affordable health
insurance for their children.”
The Florida Healthy Kids program is one of four components of the larger
Florida KidCare program, the state’s health insurance program for uninsured
children. The Florida KidCare program serves nearly 1.4 million children, of
which 1.1 million are Medicaid customers and more than 255,000 are enrolled
in MediKids, Children’s Medical Services or Healthy Kids. Florida Healthy
Kids allows working families the opportunity to purchase low-cost health
insurance for their children ages 5 through 19. To be eligible for
discounted premiums, families must earn less than 200 percent of the federal
poverty level, or $40,000 for a family of four. Children enrolled in these
programs receive regular doctor visits, dental check-ups and immunizations
at little to no cost.
Recently, CFO Sink announced enrollment numbers from the ongoing Florida
KidCare community campaign to reach families with uninsured children. During
the month of October, 17,497 more children were enrolled in Florida KidCare,
following the record-setting receipt of more than 38,000 applications in
August and more than 39,000 applications in September.
CFO SINK REPORTS SUBPRIME RISK TO STATE TREASURY IS
Sink ordered an analysis of subprime risk in Treasury funds earlier this
Two weeks after calling for an in-depth analysis on how the collapse of the
subprime mortgage market might affect Florida’s Treasury investments, Chief
Financial Officer Alex Sink reported that the Treasury maintains a
diversified bond portfolio with minimal subprime exposure.
CFO Sink called for the Treasury’s investment analysis after meeting with
senior executives from Wall Street investment firms and witnessing rating
agencies down-grading several mortgage-backed securities previously rated as
high as AAA.
“As the manager of the state Treasury with $24 billion in investments, I
want to ensure we are safeguarding the taxpayers’ money,” said CFO Sink, who
oversees of the Department of Financial Services. “During the past two
weeks, we’ve examined every subprime-related investment and concluded the
risk to the state’s Treasury investments is minimal.”
Subprime holdings represent approximately 0.7 percent of the Treasury’s
total $24 billion investment portfolio. The securities held are not expected
to default, as most of the subprime holdings maintained by the state
Treasury are seasoned holdings that have been performing for years.
Additionally, these holdings are senior in priority and are believed to
contain sufficient credit support to cover the state’s investment.
Investment managers who manage state funds are required to abide by strict
financial guidelines, such as investing in funds with specific credit
ratings and other risk criteria. In some cases, high-risk mortgage-backed
securities have been repackaged, given a high investment grade rating, and
sold to investors. Subsequently, Moody’s Investors Service and other rating
firms have downgraded the ratings of several mortgage-backed securities,
leading CFO Sink to call for higher scrutiny of the Treasury’s investments.
“It’s clear that we can no longer solely rely on an investment’s credit
rating when making management decisions,” said CFO Sink. “In light of the
current market conditions, we are tightening our risk tolerances to better
safeguard the people’s money.”
State Treasury managers also reviewed a number of other investments that
could potentially be affected by the subprime mortgage market collapse,
including collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), Alt-A mortgages and
structured investment vehicle (SIV) obligations. Total exposure in these
investments is minimal, and they are senior class investments not expected
CFO Sink had also asked the State Board of Administration to review its $187
billion in investments and to present the findings to the Florida Cabinet’s
meeting on November 14, 2007. The State Board of Administration manages the
state’s $138 billion pension fund and other investment pools, and reports to
the Governor and Cabinet. SBA Director Coleman Stipanovich Wednesday
indicated the state’s pension fund was properly diversified and not at risk.
CFO Sink has also encouraged other state entities – including the Florida
Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corporation,
and the Florida Prepaid College Fund – to review their asset allocations,
investment decisions and risk levels.
FLORIDA CHANNEL FEATURES CFO SINK
Public television stations across the state will
air Beth Switzer's Florida Face to Face interview with guest CFO Alex
Sink about a variety of issues of interest to Floridians.
Please check the following schedule for the station and time in your area.
17,497 MORE CHILDREN INSURED
State agency-backed campaign boosts KidCare enrollment
during the month of October
The ongoing community campaign to reach families with uninsured children
is working to boost enrollment in Florida KidCare. During the month of
October, 17,497 more children were covered. Florida KidCare currently
serves nearly 1.4 million children, of which 1.1 million are Medicaid
customers and more than 255,000 are enrolled in MediKids, Children’s
Medical Services or Healthy Kids. Children enrolled in these programs
receive regular doctor visits, dental check-ups and immunizations at
little to no cost.
“The significant increase in enrollment shows that a sustained statewide
outreach effort is important and necessary to get more kids insured
through KidCare,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who
chairs the Healthy Kids board. “This is a vital program, and we are
going to continue our grassroots approach to promoting KidCare and
helping families enroll in the program. Our goal is to get as many
uninsured children into the program as possible.”
Since July, staff and leaders from Florida KidCare, the Florida
Department of Health, the Department of Children and Families, the
Agency for Workforce Innovation and the Agency for Healthcare
Administration have distributed millions of KidCare applications at
schools and community events to reach more families with uninsured
Local community groups and businesses with access to families are also
participating. KidCare distributed more than $1 million in matching
grants to organizations that demonstrated creative outreach strategies
to help enroll eligible families. In addition, large retailers such as
Albertson’s, Walgreens, and Sweetbay are displaying KidCare information
in their stores statewide. The health insurance plans that provide
medical coverage to children enrolled in KidCare also contribute. The
Florida Association of Health Plans (FAHP) recently funded a statewide
radio advertising campaign to promote KidCare through urban and Hispanic
The campaign is producing application volume at historic levels. More
than 38,000 applications were received in August, which was an increase
over the same time period last year. A record number 39,833 applications
were received in September, which is a 30 percent increase compared to
“The proof is in the numbers. Application volume keeps going up, up, up
and more kids are getting covered,” said KidCare consultant Rose Naff.
“In October we broke the record for the third consecutive month,
receiving over 40,000 applications.”
“Flu season is around the corner, and this is a great time for families
to enroll their children in KidCare so they can have peace of mind,”
said Florida Surgeon General Ana Viamonte Ros. “Having easy access to
quality doctors through the KidCare program can help parents avoid
costly trips to the emergency room when their kids are sick.”
For more information Florida KidCare, visit www.floridakidcare.org to
apply on-line or call 1-888-540-5437 to receive an application by mail.
RETIRED FIREFIGHTERS TOUR FLORIDA STATE FIRE COLLEGE
Twenty-two retired firefighters and EMS workers from The Villages,
Florida came to the Fire College by bus on November 15, 2007, to tour the
campus and look at some of the new technology. The visit started in the
auditorium for a welcome by Chief Dave Casey. His slide presentation of “do
you remember when” was quite a hit.
Everyone got a good laugh when Chief Casey
asked if they remembered following their officer into a fire and being able
to see where he was by his lit cigarette. Of course in the standards of
today, inside the fire the officer would be wearing full gear including self-contained breathing apparatus and fewer firefighters are smoking
They took a tour of the outside facilities including the Haz Mat
field, Urban Search and Rescue, and vehicle extrication just before a
luncheon in the fire station.
Bill “Andy” Andrews and Harry Schaffer, both retired from the Washington
D.C. fire department in 1985, said they were quite impressed with the new
Plasma cutters, live fire demonstrations using the new computer controlled
and gas fired props, thermal imaging, and the snake eye cameras/monitors
were demonstrated by staff. Glenn Bruce, retired in 2000 from the Troy
Township Fire Department in Ohio, whose son has followed in his footsteps
and is a training officer in Mansfield, Ohio, said he was most impressed
with the changes in search and rescue and will discuss them with his son.
Then the “old met the new”. The latest recruit class met with the retirees
and had the opportunity to ask questions of each other. The first question
from a student was what do you miss the most and the response seemed to be
the same from many: “the fire service family.” When the students wanted to
know what the retirees thought of the new generation of firefighters, Fred
Stark, retired Bureau Chief from the Florida State Fire College, responded,
“There really is no difference between now and the past…..well, maybe a few
gray hairs for some of us. Firefighters set themselves apart from others by
their dedication.” The biggest laugh came when a student asked
what the former fire chiefs in the room looked for in a new recruit and one
yelled from the back, “they need to be a good cook.”
There were many accolades going both directions as some of the “rookies” got
to shake hands with the “retirees.” The visit was sponsored by The Daily Sun
newspaper, which is part of the Villages Media Group that serves The
Villages, Florida. After the visit a tired but happy group boarded their bus
for the trip home. According to Chief Dave Casey of the Florida State Fire
College, “It was a great afternoon of interaction for the visitors, the fire
college staff, and the student firefighters. We all came away with a
tremendous respect for each other."
YOU CAN HELP STOP EMAIL SCAMS
Have you been solicited by email asking you to give your money to a charity
that sounds like it will help a noble cause? You should verify before you
buy into the idea that you are helping some good cause with your donation.
Here's why - The latest fraud was reported by the IRS, warning taxpayers to
be on the lookout for a new e-mail scam that appears to be a solicitation
from the IRS and the U.S. government for charitable contributions to victims
of the recent Southern California wildfires.
The scam e-mail urges recipients to click on a link, which then opens what
appears to be the IRS Web site but which is, in fact, a fake. An item on the
phony Web site urges donations and includes a link that opens a donation
form which requests your personal and financial information. Be aware that
the IRS does not send e-mails soliciting charitable donations! As a rule,
the IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails or ask for personal and financial
information via e-mail. The IRS never asks people for the PIN numbers,
passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank
or other financial accounts.
The bogus e-mails appear to be a “phishing” scheme, in which you are tricked
into providing personal and financial information that can be used to gain
access to and steal your assets. The IRS also believes that clicking on the
link downloads MALWARE, or malicious software, onto your computer. The
MALWARE will steal passwords and other account information it finds on the
victim's computer system and send them to the scamster. So how can you
protect yourself from this MALWARE threat? Use a good antivirus software
program on your computer, and set it to automatically receive frequent
updates for protection against the latest scams. Never click and open email
from unknown senders.
If you got this scam e-mail and clicked on any of the links, you should have
your computer checked for malicious software and monitor your financial
accounts for suspicious activity, taking measures to prevent access. Report
any unauthorized activity to law enforcement and to the three major credit
In addition, you can help the IRS shut down this scheme! Here's how: if you
got the phony email, call a toll-free hotline at 1-800-366-4484 or forward
it to email@example.com, to have the bogus sites taken offline as soon as
they are reported. Since the establishment of the mail box last year, the
IRS has received more than 30,000 e-mails reporting almost 600 separate
phishing incidents! To date, almost 900 host sites have been identified in
at least 55 different countries, as well as in the United States.
DON'T BECOME A VICTIM OF CHARITY FRAUD
It is getting to be that time of year again. This is the season of
giving, and many people are considering making charitable donations.
Nobody wants to waste their money by donating to a scam. Here are some tips
Beware of “look-alike charities” which may have a very similar name as a
large established charity. Be careful so you are not fooled into thinking
that you have donated to a legitimate charity instead of to a bogus charity
that is not legitimate.
There is a free resource in Florida that provides excellent information
designed to help guide you in making your decision. If you wish to make a
contribution, be a smart financial consumer by getting the facts. The
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DOAC) provides
detailed financial information about the charitable organization’s use of
donated money. Every organization that is soliciting for donations in
Florida must be listed in the State of Florida’s Gift Giver’s Guide. If the
charity is not listed in the guide, don’t donate!
The guide is very easy to use and reflects what percentage of donations
actually go to the cause. You want to see that the percentage of the
donations that cover administration and fund-raising costs is very low in
comparison. You should carefully consider whether it is your desire to
donate to an organization that uses a very high percentage of the money
towards paying for its own existence, rather than contributing to the cause
You can check it out by searching the FL Gift Givers Guide using full or
partial name of the charity. It is available for free by calling DOAC at
1-800-435-7352, for a hard copy to be mailed to you; or it is also located