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Statement from Tom Gallagher regarding Legislation to Protect Seniors

4/5/2006

CONTACT:  Tami Torres 
                  (850) 413-2842
     
TALLAHASSEE— The Senate Health Care Committee unanimously approved a bill today that protects Florida seniors who purchase long-term and home health care insurance from sudden rate hikes and arbitrary claim denials. 
 
The legislation, SB 2290 by Sen. Mike Fasano, would extend the same protections to seniors that Gallagher obtained for consumers who purchase health insurance from out-of-state group insurers during the 2003 legislative session.  Specifically, the bill would protect policyholders from the practice of insurers that close blocks of coverage to avoid spreading the risk among a pool of insured seniors and then hike rates on the smaller, closed block.  Today, Gallagher offered the following statement:
 
"Seniors who responsibly purchase coverage to prepare for potential illnesses in future years should be protected from exorbitant rate increases and arbitrary claim denials, especially at a time when they need their coverage the most," said Gallagher, who successfully obtained protections for consumers when purchasing health insurance during the 2003 legislative session.  "I applaud state lawmakers for approving this important legislation for Florida seniors and their families."
 
SB 2290 now heads to the Senate General Government Appropriations Committee.  Its House companion is HB 1349.