Florida Senate - 2017                             CS for SB 1582
       By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senator Bradley
       576-03782-17                                          20171582c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to workers’ compensation insurance;
    3         amending s. 440.02, F.S.; redefining the term
    4         “specificity”; amending s. 440.105, F.S.; revising a
    5         prohibition against receiving certain fees,
    6         consideration, or gratuities under certain
    7         circumstances; amending s. 440.13, F.S.; specifying
    8         certain timeframes in terms of business days, rather
    9         than days; requiring carriers to authorize or deny,
   10         rather than respond to, certain requests for
   11         authorization within a specified timeframe; revising
   12         construction; revising a specified interval for
   13         certain notices furnished by treating physicians to
   14         employers or carriers; amending s. 440.15, F.S.;
   15         revising the maximum period of specified temporary
   16         disability benefits; amending s. 440.151, F.S.;
   17         providing that specified cancers of firefighters are
   18         deemed occupational diseases arising out of work
   19         performed in the course and scope of employment;
   20         amending s. 440.192, F.S.; revising conditions under
   21         which the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims
   22         must dismiss petitions for benefits; revising
   23         requirements for such petitions; revising construction
   24         relating to dismissals of petitions or portions of
   25         such petitions; requiring judges of compensation
   26         claims to enter orders on certain motions to dismiss
   27         within specified timeframes; amending s. 440.34, F.S.;
   28         prohibiting the payment of certain consideration by
   29         carriers or employers, rather than prohibiting such
   30         payment for claimants, in connection with certain
   31         proceedings under certain circumstances; requiring
   32         judges of compensation claims to consider specified
   33         factors in increasing or decreasing attorney fees;
   34         specifying a maximum hourly rate for attorney fees;
   35         revising provisions that prohibit such judges from
   36         approving certain agreements and that limit attorney
   37         fees in retainer agreements; providing construction;
   38         deleting a provision authorizing such judges to
   39         approve alternative attorney fees under certain
   40         circumstances; conforming a cross-reference; amending
   41         s. 624.482, F.S.; conforming a provision to changes
   42         made by the act; amending s. 627.041, F.S.; redefining
   43         terms; amending s. 627.0612, F.S.; adding prospective
   44         loss costs to a list of reviewable matters in certain
   45         proceedings by appellate courts; amending s. 627.062,
   46         F.S.; prohibiting loss costs for specified classes of
   47         insurance from being excessive, inadequate, or
   48         unfairly discriminatory; amending s. 627.0645, F.S.;
   49         deleting an annual base rate filing requirement
   50         exception relating to workers’ compensation and
   51         employer’s liability insurance for certain rating
   52         organizations; amending s. 627.072, F.S.; requiring
   53         certain factors to be used in determining and fixing
   54         loss costs; deleting a specified methodology that may
   55         be used by the Office of Insurance Regulation in rate
   56         determinations; amending s. 627.091, F.S.; defining
   57         terms; requiring insurers or insurer groups writing
   58         workers’ compensation and employer’s liability
   59         insurances to independently and individually file
   60         their proposed final rates; specifying requirements
   61         for such filings; deleting a requirement that such
   62         filings contain certain information; revising
   63         requirements for supporting information required to be
   64         furnished to the office under certain circumstances;
   65         deleting a specified method for insurers to satisfy
   66         filing obligations; specifying requirements for a
   67         licensed rating organization that elects to develop
   68         and file certain reference filings and certain other
   69         information; authorizing insurers to use supplementary
   70         rating information approved by the office; revising
   71         applicability of public meetings and records
   72         requirements to certain meetings of recognized rating
   73         organization committees; requiring certain insurer
   74         groups to file underwriting rules not contained in
   75         rating manuals; amending s. 627.093, F.S.; revising
   76         applicability of public meetings and records
   77         requirements to prospective loss cost filings or
   78         appeals; amending s. 627.101, F.S.; conforming a
   79         provision to changes made by the act; amending s.
   80         627.211, F.S.; deleting provisions relating to
   81         deviations; requiring that the office’s annual report
   82         to the Legislature relating to the workers’
   83         compensation insurance market evaluate insurance
   84         company solvency; creating s. 627.2151, F.S.; defining
   85         the term “defense and cost containment expenses” or
   86         “DCCE”; requiring insurer groups or insurers writing
   87         workers’ compensation insurance to file specified
   88         schedules with the office at specified intervals;
   89         providing construction relating to excessive DCCE;
   90         requiring the office to order returns of excess
   91         amounts of DCCE, subject to certain hearing
   92         requirements; providing requirements for, and an
   93         exception from, the return of excessive DCCE amounts;
   94         providing construction; amending s. 627.291, F.S.;
   95         providing applicability of certain disclosure and
   96         hearing requirements for rating organizations filing
   97         prospective loss costs; amending s. 627.318, F.S.;
   98         providing applicability of certain recordkeeping
   99         requirements for rating organizations or insurers
  100         filing or using prospective loss costs, respectively;
  101         amending s. 627.361, F.S.; providing applicability of
  102         a prohibition against false or misleading information
  103         relating to prospective loss costs; amending s.
  104         627.371, F.S.; providing applicability of certain
  105         hearing procedures and requirements relating to the
  106         application, making, or use of prospective loss costs;
  107         providing appropriations; providing effective dates.
  109  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  111         Section 1. Subsection (40) of section 440.02, Florida
  112  Statutes, is amended to read:
  113         440.02 Definitions.—When used in this chapter, unless the
  114  context clearly requires otherwise, the following terms shall
  115  have the following meanings:
  116         (40) “Specificity” means information on the petition for
  117  benefits sufficient to put the employer or carrier on notice of
  118  the exact statutory classification and outstanding time period
  119  for each requested benefit, the specific amount of each
  120  requested benefit, the calculation used for computing the
  121  requested benefit, of benefits being requested and includes a
  122  detailed explanation of any benefits received that should be
  123  increased, decreased, changed, or otherwise modified. If the
  124  petition is for medical benefits, the information must shall
  125  include specific details as to why such benefits are being
  126  requested, why such benefits are medically necessary, and why
  127  current treatment, if any, is not sufficient. Any petition
  128  requesting alternate or other medical care, including, but not
  129  limited to, petitions requesting psychiatric or psychological
  130  treatment, must specifically identify the physician, as defined
  131  in s. 440.13(1), who is recommending such treatment. A copy of a
  132  report from such physician making the recommendation for
  133  alternate or other medical care must shall also be attached to
  134  the petition. A judge of compensation claims may shall not order
  135  such treatment if a physician is not recommending such
  136  treatment.
  137         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of section
  138  440.105, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  139         440.105 Prohibited activities; reports; penalties;
  140  limitations.—
  141         (3) Whoever violates any provision of this subsection
  142  commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as
  143  provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
  144         (c) Except for an attorney who is retained by or for an
  145  injured worker and who receives a fee or other consideration
  146  from or on behalf of such worker, it is unlawful for any
  147  attorney or other person, in his or her individual capacity or
  148  in his or her capacity as a public or private employee, or for
  149  any firm, corporation, partnership, or association to receive
  150  any fee or other consideration or any gratuity from a person on
  151  account of services rendered for a person in connection with any
  152  proceedings arising under this chapter, unless such fee,
  153  consideration, or gratuity is approved by a judge of
  154  compensation claims or by the Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation
  155  Claims.
  156         Section 3. Paragraph (f) of subsection (2), paragraphs (d)
  157  and (i) of subsection (3), paragraph (a) of subsection (4),
  158  paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (5), and paragraphs (c) and
  159  (d) of subsection (9) of section 440.13, Florida Statutes, are
  160  amended, to read:
  161         440.13 Medical services and supplies; penalty for
  162  violations; limitations.—
  164         (f) Upon the written request of the employee, the carrier
  165  shall give the employee the opportunity for one change of
  166  physician during the course of treatment for any one accident.
  167  Upon the granting of a change of physician, the originally
  168  authorized physician in the same specialty as the changed
  169  physician shall become deauthorized upon written notification by
  170  the employer or carrier. The carrier shall authorize an
  171  alternative physician who shall not be professionally affiliated
  172  with the previous physician within 5 business days after receipt
  173  of the request. If the carrier fails to provide a change of
  174  physician as requested by the employee, the employee may select
  175  the physician and such physician shall be considered authorized
  176  if the treatment being provided is compensable and medically
  177  necessary.
  179  Failure of the carrier to timely comply with this subsection
  180  shall be a violation of this chapter and the carrier shall be
  181  subject to penalties as provided for in s. 440.525.
  183         (d) A carrier must respond, by telephone or in writing,
  184  must authorize or deny to a request for authorization from an
  185  authorized health care provider by the close of the third
  186  business day after receipt of the request. A carrier authorizes
  187  the request if it who fails to respond to a written request for
  188  authorization for referral for medical treatment by the close of
  189  the third business day after receipt of the request consents to
  190  the medical necessity for such treatment. All such requests must
  191  be made to the carrier. Notice to the carrier does not include
  192  notice to the employer.
  193         (i) Notwithstanding paragraph (d), a claim for specialist
  194  consultations, surgical operations, physiotherapeutic or
  195  occupational therapy procedures, X-ray examinations, or special
  196  diagnostic laboratory tests that cost more than $1,000 and other
  197  specialty services that the department identifies by rule is not
  198  valid and reimbursable unless the services have been expressly
  199  authorized by the carrier, unless the carrier has failed to
  200  respond within 10 business days to a written request for
  201  authorization, or unless emergency care is required. The insurer
  202  shall authorize such consultation or procedure unless the health
  203  care provider or facility is not authorized, unless such
  204  treatment is not in accordance with practice parameters and
  205  protocols of treatment established in this chapter, or unless a
  206  judge of compensation claims has determined that the
  207  consultation or procedure is not medically necessary, not in
  208  accordance with the practice parameters and protocols of
  209  treatment established in this chapter, or otherwise not
  210  compensable under this chapter. Authorization of a treatment
  211  plan does not constitute express authorization for purposes of
  212  this section, except to the extent the carrier provides
  213  otherwise in its authorization procedures. This paragraph does
  214  not limit the carrier’s obligation to identify and disallow
  215  overutilization or billing errors.
  218         (a) Any health care provider providing necessary remedial
  219  treatment, care, or attendance to any injured worker shall
  220  submit treatment reports to the carrier in a format prescribed
  221  by the department. A claim for medical or surgical treatment is
  222  not valid or enforceable against such employer or employee,
  223  unless, by the close of the third business day following the
  224  first treatment, the physician providing the treatment furnishes
  225  to the employer or carrier a preliminary notice of the injury
  226  and treatment in a format prescribed by the department and,
  227  within 15 business days thereafter, furnishes to the employer or
  228  carrier a complete report, and subsequent thereto furnishes
  229  progress reports, if requested by the employer or insurance
  230  carrier, at intervals of not less than 15 business days 3 weeks
  231  apart or at less frequent intervals if requested in a format
  232  prescribed by the department.
  234         (a) In any dispute concerning overutilization, medical
  235  benefits, compensability, or disability under this chapter, the
  236  carrier or the employee may select an independent medical
  237  examiner. If the parties agree, the examiner may be a health
  238  care provider treating or providing other care to the employee.
  239  An independent medical examiner may not render an opinion
  240  outside his or her area of expertise, as demonstrated by
  241  licensure and applicable practice parameters. The employer and
  242  employee shall be entitled to only one independent medical
  243  examination per accident and not one independent medical
  244  examination per medical specialty. The party requesting and
  245  selecting the independent medical examination shall be
  246  responsible for all expenses associated with said examination,
  247  including, but not limited to, medically necessary diagnostic
  248  testing performed and physician or medical care provider fees
  249  for the evaluation. The party selecting the independent medical
  250  examination shall identify the choice of the independent medical
  251  examiner to all other parties within 15 business days after the
  252  date the independent medical examination is to take place.
  253  Failure to timely provide such notification shall preclude the
  254  requesting party from submitting the findings of such
  255  independent medical examiner in a proceeding before a judge of
  256  compensation claims. The independent medical examiner may not
  257  provide followup care if such recommendation for care is found
  258  to be medically necessary. If the employee prevails in a medical
  259  dispute as determined in an order by a judge of compensation
  260  claims or if benefits are paid or treatment provided after the
  261  employee has obtained an independent medical examination based
  262  upon the examiner’s findings, the costs of such examination
  263  shall be paid by the employer or carrier.
  264         (c) The carrier may, at its election, contact the claimant
  265  directly to schedule a reasonable time for an independent
  266  medical examination. The carrier must confirm the scheduling
  267  agreement in writing with the claimant and the claimant’s
  268  counsel, if any, at least 7 business days before the date upon
  269  which the independent medical examination is scheduled to occur.
  270  An attorney representing a claimant is not authorized to
  271  schedule the self-insured employer’s or carrier’s independent
  272  medical evaluations under this subsection. Neither the self
  273  insured employer nor the carrier shall be responsible for
  274  scheduling any independent medical examination other than an
  275  employer or carrier independent medical examination.
  276         (9) EXPERT MEDICAL ADVISORS.—
  277         (c) If there is disagreement in the opinions of the health
  278  care providers, if two health care providers disagree on medical
  279  evidence supporting the employee’s complaints or the need for
  280  additional medical treatment, or if two health care providers
  281  disagree that the employee is able to return to work, the
  282  department may, and the judge of compensation claims shall, upon
  283  his or her own motion or within 15 business days after receipt
  284  of a written request by either the injured employee, the
  285  employer, or the carrier, order the injured employee to be
  286  evaluated by an expert medical advisor. The injured employee and
  287  the employer or carrier may agree on the health care provider to
  288  serve as an expert medical advisor. If the parties do not agree,
  289  the judge of compensation claims shall select an expert medical
  290  advisor from the department’s list of certified expert medical
  291  advisors. If a certified medical advisor within the relevant
  292  medical specialty is unavailable, the judge of compensation
  293  claims shall appoint any otherwise qualified health care
  294  provider to serve as an expert medical advisor without obtaining
  295  the department’s certification. The opinion of the expert
  296  medical advisor is presumed to be correct unless there is clear
  297  and convincing evidence to the contrary as determined by the
  298  judge of compensation claims. The expert medical advisor
  299  appointed to conduct the evaluation shall have free and complete
  300  access to the medical records of the employee. An employee who
  301  fails to report to and cooperate with such evaluation forfeits
  302  entitlement to compensation during the period of failure to
  303  report or cooperate.
  304         (d) The expert medical advisor must complete his or her
  305  evaluation and issue his or her report to the department or to
  306  the judge of compensation claims within 15 business days after
  307  receipt of all medical records. The expert medical advisor must
  308  furnish a copy of the report to the carrier and to the employee.
  309         Section 4. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) and paragraph
  310  (e) of subsection (4) of section 440.15, Florida Statutes, are
  311  amended to read:
  312         440.15 Compensation for disability.—Compensation for
  313  disability shall be paid to the employee, subject to the limits
  314  provided in s. 440.12(2), as follows:
  316         (a) Subject to subsection (7), in case of disability total
  317  in character but temporary in quality, 66 2/3 or 66.67 percent
  318  of the average weekly wages shall be paid to the employee during
  319  the continuance thereof, not to exceed 260 104 weeks except as
  320  provided in this subsection, s. 440.12(1), and s. 440.14(3).
  321  Once the employee reaches the maximum number of weeks allowed,
  322  or the employee reaches the date of maximum medical improvement,
  323  whichever occurs earlier, temporary disability benefits shall
  324  cease and the injured worker’s permanent impairment shall be
  325  determined.
  327         (e) Such benefits shall be paid during the continuance of
  328  such disability, not to exceed a period of 260 104 weeks, as
  329  provided by this subsection and subsection (2). Once the injured
  330  employee reaches the maximum number of weeks, temporary
  331  disability benefits cease and the injured worker’s permanent
  332  impairment must be determined. If the employee is terminated
  333  from postinjury employment based on the employee’s misconduct,
  334  temporary partial disability benefits are not payable as
  335  provided for in this section. The department shall by rule
  336  specify forms and procedures governing the method and time for
  337  payment of temporary disability benefits for dates of accidents
  338  before January 1, 1994, and for dates of accidents on or after
  339  January 1, 1994.
  340         Section 5. Subsection (2) of section 440.151, Florida
  341  Statutes, is amended to read:
  342         440.151 Occupational diseases.—
  343         (2) Whenever used in this section the term “occupational
  344  disease” shall be construed to mean only a disease which is due
  345  to causes and conditions which are characteristic of and
  346  peculiar to a particular trade, occupation, process, or
  347  employment, and to exclude all ordinary diseases of life to
  348  which the general public is exposed, unless the incidence of the
  349  disease is substantially higher in the particular trade,
  350  occupation, process, or employment than for the general public.
  351  “Occupational disease” means only a disease for which there are
  352  epidemiological studies showing that exposure to the specific
  353  substance involved, at the levels to which the employee was
  354  exposed, may cause the precise disease sustained by the
  355  employee. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, for
  356  firefighters, as defined in s. 112.81, multiple myeloma and non
  357  Hodgkin’s lymphoma are deemed to be occupational diseases that
  358  arise out of work performed in the course and scope of
  359  employment.
  360         Section 6. Subsections (2) and (5) of section 440.192,
  361  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  362         440.192 Procedure for resolving benefit disputes.—
  363         (2) Upon receipt, the Office of the Judges of Compensation
  364  Claims shall review each petition and shall dismiss each
  365  petition or any portion of such a petition that does not on its
  366  face meet the requirements of this section and the definition of
  367  specificity under s. 440.02, and specifically identify or
  368  itemize the following:
  369         (a) The name, address, and telephone number, and social
  370  security number of the employee.
  371         (b) The name, address, and telephone number of the
  372  employer.
  373         (c) A detailed description of the injury and cause of the
  374  injury, including the Florida county or, if outside of Florida,
  375  the state location of the occurrence and the date or dates of
  376  the accident.
  377         (d) A detailed description of the employee’s job, work
  378  responsibilities, and work the employee was performing when the
  379  injury occurred.
  380         (e) The specific time period for which compensation and the
  381  specific classification of compensation were not timely
  382  provided.
  383         (f) The specific date of maximum medical improvement,
  384  character of disability, and specific statement of all benefits
  385  or compensation that the employee is seeking. A claim for
  386  permanent benefits must include the specific date of maximum
  387  medical improvement and the specific date that such permanent
  388  benefits are claimed to begin.
  389         (g) All specific travel costs to which the employee
  390  believes she or he is entitled, including dates of travel and
  391  purpose of travel, means of transportation, and mileage and
  392  including the date the request for mileage was filed with the
  393  carrier and a copy of the request filed with the carrier.
  394         (h) A specific listing of all medical charges alleged
  395  unpaid, including the name and address of the medical provider,
  396  the amounts due, and the specific dates of treatment.
  397         (i) The type or nature of treatment care or attendance
  398  sought and the justification for such treatment. If the employee
  399  is under the care of a physician for an injury identified under
  400  paragraph (c), a copy of the physician’s request, authorization,
  401  or recommendation for treatment, care, or attendance must
  402  accompany the petition.
  403         (j) The specific amount of compensation claimed to be
  404  accurate and the methodology claimed to accurately calculate the
  405  average weekly wage, if the average weekly wage calculated by
  406  the employer or carrier is disputed. If the petition does not
  407  include a claim under this paragraph, the average weekly wage
  408  and corresponding compensation calculated by the employer or
  409  carrier are presumed to be accurate.
  410         (k)(j)A specific explanation of any other disputed issue
  411  that a judge of compensation claims will be called to rule upon.
  413  The dismissal of any petition or portion of such a petition
  414  under this subsection section is without prejudice and does not
  415  require a hearing.
  416         (5)(a) All motions to dismiss must state with particularity
  417  the basis for the motion. The judge of compensation claims shall
  418  enter an order upon such motions without hearing, unless good
  419  cause for hearing is shown. Dismissal of any petition or portion
  420  of a petition under this subsection is without prejudice.
  421         (b) Upon motion that a petition or portion of a petition be
  422  dismissed for lack of specificity, the judge of compensation
  423  claims shall enter an order on the motion, unless stipulated in
  424  writing by the parties, within 10 days after the motion is filed
  425  or, if good cause for hearing is shown, within 20 days after
  426  hearing on the motion. When any petition or portion of a
  427  petition is dismissed for lack of specificity under this
  428  subsection, the claimant must be allowed 20 days after the date
  429  of the order of dismissal in which to file an amended petition.
  430  Any grounds for dismissal for lack of specificity under this
  431  section which are not asserted within 30 days after receipt of
  432  the petition for benefits are thereby waived.
  433         Section 7. Section 440.34, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  434  read:
  435         440.34 Attorney Attorney’s fees; costs.—
  436         (1)(a) A fee, gratuity, or other consideration may not be
  437  paid by a carrier or employer for a claimant in connection with
  438  any proceedings arising under this chapter, unless approved by
  439  the judge of compensation claims or court having jurisdiction
  440  over such proceedings. Any attorney fees attorney’s fee approved
  441  by a judge of compensation claims for benefits secured on behalf
  442  of a claimant must equal to 20 percent of the first $5,000 of
  443  the amount of the benefits secured, 15 percent of the next
  444  $5,000 of the amount of the benefits secured, 10 percent of the
  445  remaining amount of the benefits secured to be provided during
  446  the first 10 years after the date the claim is filed, and 5
  447  percent of the benefits secured after 10 years.
  448         (b) However, the judge of compensation claims shall
  449  consider the following factors in each case and may increase or
  450  decrease the attorney fees, based on a maximum hourly rate of
  451  $250 per hour, if in his or her judgment he or she expressly
  452  finds that the circumstances of the particular case warrant such
  453  action:
  454         1. The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty
  455  of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform
  456  the legal service properly.
  457         2. The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar
  458  legal services.
  459         3. The amount involved in the controversy and the benefits
  460  resulting to the claimant.
  461         4. The time limitation imposed by the claimant or the
  462  circumstances.
  463         5. The experience, reputation, and ability of the attorney
  464  or attorneys performing services.
  465         6. The contingency or certainty of a fee.
  466         (c) The judge of compensation claims shall not approve a
  467  compensation order, a joint stipulation for lump-sum settlement,
  468  a stipulation or agreement between a claimant and his or her
  469  attorney, or any other agreement related to benefits under this
  470  chapter which provides for attorney fees paid by a carrier or
  471  employer an attorney’s fee in excess of the amount permitted by
  472  this section. The judge of compensation claims is not required
  473  to approve any retainer agreement between the claimant and his
  474  or her attorney. The retainer agreement as to fees and costs may
  475  not be for compensation in excess of the amount allowed under
  476  this subsection or subsection (7).
  477         (2) In awarding a claimant’s attorney fees paid by a
  478  carrier or employer attorney’s fee, the judge of compensation
  479  claims shall consider only those benefits secured by the
  480  attorney. An attorney is not entitled to attorney attorney’s
  481  fees for representation in any issue that was ripe, due, and
  482  owing and that reasonably could have been addressed, but was not
  483  addressed, during the pendency of other issues for the same
  484  injury. The amount, statutory basis, and type of benefits
  485  obtained through legal representation shall be listed on all
  486  attorney attorney’s fees awarded by the judge of compensation
  487  claims. For purposes of this section, the term “benefits
  488  secured” does not include future medical benefits to be provided
  489  on any date more than 5 years after the date the claim is filed.
  490  In the event an offer to settle an issue pending before a judge
  491  of compensation claims, including attorney attorney’s fees as
  492  provided for in this section, is communicated in writing to the
  493  claimant or the claimant’s attorney at least 30 days prior to
  494  the trial date on such issue, for purposes of calculating the
  495  amount of attorney attorney’s fees to be taxed against the
  496  employer or carrier, the term “benefits secured” shall be deemed
  497  to include only that amount awarded to the claimant above the
  498  amount specified in the offer to settle. If multiple issues are
  499  pending before the judge of compensation claims, said offer of
  500  settlement shall address each issue pending and shall state
  501  explicitly whether or not the offer on each issue is severable.
  502  The written offer shall also unequivocally state whether or not
  503  it includes medical witness fees and expenses and all other
  504  costs associated with the claim.
  505         (3) If any party should prevail in any proceedings before a
  506  judge of compensation claims or court, there shall be taxed
  507  against the nonprevailing party the reasonable costs of such
  508  proceedings, not to include attorney attorney’s fees. A claimant
  509  is responsible for the payment of her or his own attorney
  510  attorney’s fees, except that a claimant is entitled to recover
  511  attorney fees an attorney’s fee in an amount equal to the amount
  512  provided for in subsection (1) or subsection (7) from a carrier
  513  or employer:
  514         (a) Against whom she or he successfully asserts a petition
  515  for medical benefits only, if the claimant has not filed or is
  516  not entitled to file at such time a claim for disability,
  517  permanent impairment, wage-loss, or death benefits, arising out
  518  of the same accident;
  519         (b) In any case in which the employer or carrier files a
  520  response to petition denying benefits with the Office of the
  521  Judges of Compensation Claims and the injured person has
  522  employed an attorney in the successful prosecution of the
  523  petition;
  524         (c) In a proceeding in which a carrier or employer denies
  525  that an accident occurred for which compensation benefits are
  526  payable, and the claimant prevails on the issue of
  527  compensability; or
  528         (d) In cases where the claimant successfully prevails in
  529  proceedings filed under s. 440.24 or s. 440.28.
  531  Regardless of the date benefits were initially requested,
  532  attorney attorney’s fees shall not attach under this subsection
  533  until 30 days after the date the carrier or employer, if self
  534  insured, receives the petition.
  535         (4) In such cases in which the claimant is responsible for
  536  the payment of her or his own attorney attorney’s fees, such
  537  fees are a lien upon compensation payable to the claimant,
  538  notwithstanding s. 440.22.
  539         (5) If any proceedings are had for review of any claim,
  540  award, or compensation order before any court, the court may
  541  award the injured employee or dependent attorney fees an
  542  attorney’s fee to be paid by the employer or carrier, in its
  543  discretion, which shall be paid as the court may direct.
  544         (6) A judge of compensation claims may not enter an order
  545  approving the contents of a retainer agreement that permits
  546  placing any portion of the employee’s compensation into an
  547  escrow account until benefits have been secured.
  548         (7) This section may not be interpreted to limit or
  549  otherwise infringe on a claimant’s right to retain an attorney
  550  and pay the attorney reasonable attorney fees for legal services
  551  related to a claim under the Workers Compensation Law If an
  552  attorney’s fee is owed under paragraph (3)(a), the judge of
  553  compensation claims may approve an alternative attorney’s fee
  554  not to exceed $1,500 only once per accident, based on a maximum
  555  hourly rate of $150 per hour, if the judge of compensation
  556  claims expressly finds that the attorney’s fee amount provided
  557  for in subsection (1), based on benefits secured, fails to
  558  fairly compensate the attorney for disputed medical-only claims
  559  as provided in paragraph (3)(a) and the circumstances of the
  560  particular case warrant such action.
  561         Section 8. Effective July 1, 2018, subsection (10) of
  562  section 624.482, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  563         624.482 Making and use of rates.—
  564         (10) Any self-insurance fund that writes workers’
  565  compensation insurance and employer’s liability insurance is
  566  subject to, and shall make all rate filings for workers’
  567  compensation insurance and employer’s liability insurance in
  568  accordance with, ss. 627.091, 627.101, 627.111, 627.141,
  569  627.151, 627.171, and 627.191, and 627.211.
  570         Section 9. Effective July 1, 2018, subsections (3), (4),
  571  and (6) of section 627.041, Florida Statutes, are amended to
  572  read:
  573         627.041 Definitions.—As used in this part:
  574         (3) “Rating organization” means every person, other than an
  575  authorized insurer, whether located within or outside this
  576  state, who has as his or her object or purpose the making of
  577  prospective loss costs, rates, rating plans, or rating systems.
  578  Two or more authorized insurers that act in concert for the
  579  purpose of making prospective loss costs, rates, rating plans,
  580  or rating systems, and that do not operate within the specific
  581  authorizations contained in ss. 627.311, 627.314(2), (4), and
  582  627.351, shall be deemed to be a rating organization. No single
  583  insurer shall be deemed to be a rating organization.
  584         (4) “Advisory organization” means every group, association,
  585  or other organization of insurers, whether located within or
  586  outside this state, which prepares policy forms or makes
  587  underwriting rules incident to but not including the making of
  588  prospective loss costs, rates, rating plans, or rating systems
  589  or which collects and furnishes to authorized insurers or rating
  590  organizations loss or expense statistics or other statistical
  591  information and data and acts in an advisory, as distinguished
  592  from a ratemaking, capacity.
  593         (6) “Subscriber” means an insurer which is furnished at its
  594  request:
  595         (a) With prospective loss costs, rates, and rating manuals
  596  by a rating organization of which it is not a member; or
  597         (b) With advisory services by an advisory organization of
  598  which it is not a member.
  599         Section 10. Effective July 1, 2018, subsection (1) of
  600  section 627.0612, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  601         627.0612 Administrative proceedings in rating
  602  determinations.—
  603         (1) In any proceeding to determine whether prospective loss
  604  costs, rates, rating plans, or other matters governed by this
  605  part comply with the law, the appellate court shall set aside a
  606  final order of the office if the office has violated s.
  607  120.57(1)(k) by substituting its findings of fact for findings
  608  of an administrative law judge which were supported by competent
  609  substantial evidence.
  610         Section 11. Effective July 1, 2018, subsection (1) of
  611  section 627.062, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  612         627.062 Rate standards.—
  613         (1) The rates and loss costs for all classes of insurance
  614  to which the provisions of this part are applicable may not be
  615  excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.
  616         Section 12. Effective July 1, 2018, subsection (1) of
  617  section 627.0645, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  618         627.0645 Annual filings.—
  619         (1) Each rating organization filing rates for, and each
  620  insurer writing, any line of property or casualty insurance to
  621  which this part applies, except:
  622         (a) Workers’ compensation and employer’s liability
  623  insurance;
  624         (a)(b) Insurance as defined in ss. 624.604 and 624.605,
  625  limited to coverage of commercial risks other than commercial
  626  residential multiperil; or
  627         (b)(c) Travel insurance, if issued as a master group policy
  628  with a situs in another state where each certificateholder pays
  629  less than $30 in premium for each covered trip and where the
  630  insurer has written less than $1 million in annual written
  631  premiums in the travel insurance product in this state during
  632  the most recent calendar year,
  634  shall make an annual base rate filing for each such line with
  635  the office no later than 12 months after its previous base rate
  636  filing, demonstrating that its rates are not inadequate.
  637         Section 13. Effective July 1, 2018, subsections (1) and (5)
  638  of section 627.072, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  639         627.072 Making and use of rates.—
  640         (1) As to workers’ compensation and employer’s liability
  641  insurance, the following factors shall be used in the
  642  determination and fixing of loss costs or rates, as applicable:
  643         (a) The past loss experience and prospective loss
  644  experience within and outside this state;
  645         (b) The conflagration and catastrophe hazards;
  646         (c) A reasonable margin for underwriting profit and
  647  contingencies;
  648         (d) Dividends, savings, or unabsorbed premium deposits
  649  allowed or returned by insurers to their policyholders, members,
  650  or subscribers;
  651         (e) Investment income on unearned premium reserves and loss
  652  reserves;
  653         (f) Past expenses and prospective expenses, both those
  654  countrywide and those specifically applicable to this state; and
  655         (g) All other relevant factors, including judgment factors,
  656  within and outside this state.
  657         (5)(a) In the case of workers’ compensation and employer’s
  658  liability insurance, the office shall consider utilizing the
  659  following methodology in rate determinations: Premiums,
  660  expenses, and expected claim costs would be discounted to a
  661  common point of time, such as the initial point of a policy
  662  year, in the determination of rates; the cash-flow pattern of
  663  premiums, expenses, and claim costs would be determined
  664  initially by using data from 8 to 10 of the largest insurers
  665  writing workers’ compensation insurance in the state; such
  666  insurers may be selected for their statistical ability to report
  667  the data on an accident-year basis and in accordance with
  668  subparagraphs (b)1., 2., and 3., for at least 2 1/2 years; such
  669  a cash-flow pattern would be modified when necessary in
  670  accordance with the data and whenever a radical change in the
  671  payout pattern is expected in the policy year under
  672  consideration.
  673         (b) If the methodology set forth in paragraph (a) is
  674  utilized, to facilitate the determination of such a cash-flow
  675  pattern methodology:
  676         1. Each insurer shall include in its statistical reporting
  677  to the rating bureau and the office the accident year by
  678  calendar quarter data for paid-claim costs;
  679         2. Each insurer shall submit financial reports to the
  680  rating bureau and the office which shall include total incurred
  681  claim amounts and paid-claim amounts by policy year and by
  682  injury types as of December 31 of each calendar year; and
  683         3. Each insurer shall submit to the rating bureau and the
  684  office paid-premium data on an individual risk basis in which
  685  risks are to be subdivided by premium size as follows:
  687  Number of Risks in
  688   Premium Range                             Standard Premium Size
  690  ...(to be filled in by carrier)...                      $300—999
  691  ...(to be filled in by carrier)...                   1,000—4,999
  692  ...(to be filled in by carrier)...                  5,000—49,999
  693  ...(to be filled in by carrier)...                 50,000—99,999
  694  ...(to be filled in by carrier)...               100,000 or more
  695  Total:
  696         Section 14. Effective July 1, 2018, section 627.091,
  697  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  698         627.091 Rate filings; workers’ compensation and employer’s
  699  liability insurances.—
  700         (1) As used in this section, the term:
  701         (a) “Expenses” means the portion of a rate which is
  702  attributable to acquisition, field supervision, collection
  703  expenses, taxes, reinsurance, assessments, and general expenses.
  704         (b) “Loss cost modifier” means an adjustment to, or a
  705  deviation from, the approved prospective loss costs filed by a
  706  licensed rating organization.
  707         (c) “Loss cost multiplier” means the profit and expense
  708  factor, expressed as a single nonintegral number to be applied
  709  to the prospective loss costs, which is associated with writing
  710  workers’ compensation and employer’s liability insurance and
  711  which is approved by the office in making rates for each
  712  classification of risks used by that insurer.
  713         (d) “Prospective loss costs” means the portion of a rate
  714  which reflects historical industry average aggregate losses and
  715  loss adjustment expenses projected through development to their
  716  ultimate value and through trending to a future point in time.
  717  The term does not include provisions for profit or expenses
  718  other than loss adjustment expense.
  719         (2)(1) As to workers’ compensation and employer’s liability
  720  insurances, every insurer shall file with the office every
  721  manual of classifications, rules, and rates, every rating plan,
  722  and every modification of any of the foregoing which it proposes
  723  to use. Each insurer or insurer group shall independently and
  724  individually file with the office the final rates it proposes to
  725  use. An insurer may satisfy this filing requirement by adopting
  726  the most recent loss costs filed by a licensed rating
  727  organization and approved by the office, and by otherwise
  728  complying with this part. Each insurer shall file data in
  729  accordance with the uniform statistical plan approved by the
  730  office. Every filing under this subsection:
  731         (a) Must state the proposed effective date and must be made
  732  at least 90 days before such proposed effective date;
  733         (b) Must indicate the character and extent of the coverage
  734  contemplated;
  735         (c) May use the most recent approved prospective loss costs
  736  filed by a licensed rating organization in combination with the
  737  insurer’s own approved loss cost multiplier and loss cost
  738  modifier;
  739         (d) Must include all deductibles required in chapter 440,
  740  and may include additional deductible provisions in its manual
  741  of classifications, rules, and rates. All deductibles must be in
  742  a form and manner that is consistent with the underlying purpose
  743  of chapter 440;
  744         (e) May use variable or fixed expense loads or a
  745  combination thereof, and may vary the expense, profit, or
  746  contingency provisions by class or group of classes, if the
  747  insurer files supporting data justifying such variations;
  748         (f) May include a schedule of proposed premium discounts,
  749  credits, and surcharges. The office may not approve discounts,
  750  credits, and surcharges unless they are based on objective
  751  criteria that bear a reasonable relationship to the expected
  752  loss, expense, or profit experience of an individual
  753  policyholder or a class of policyholders; and
  754         (g)May file a minimum premium or expense constant Every
  755  insurer is authorized to include deductible provisions in its
  756  manual of classifications, rules, and rates. Such deductibles
  757  shall in all cases be in a form and manner which is consistent
  758  with the underlying purpose of chapter 440.
  759         (3)(2)Every such filing shall state the proposed effective
  760  date thereof, and shall indicate the character and extent of the
  761  coverage contemplated. When a filing is not accompanied by the
  762  information upon which the insurer or rating organization
  763  supports the filing and the office does not have sufficient
  764  information to determine whether the filing meets the applicable
  765  requirements of this part, the office, it shall within 15 days
  766  after the date of filing, shall require the insurer or rating
  767  organization to furnish the information upon which it supports
  768  the filing. The information furnished in support of a filing may
  769  include:
  770         (a) The experience or judgment of the insurer or rating
  771  organization making the filing;
  772         (b) The Its interpretation of any statistical data which
  773  the insurer or rating organization making the filing it relies
  774  upon;
  775         (c) The experience of other insurers or rating
  776  organizations; or
  777         (d) Any other factors which the insurer or rating
  778  organization making the filing deems relevant.
  779         (4)(3) A filing and any supporting information are shall be
  780  open to public inspection as provided in s. 119.07(1).
  781         (5)(4) An insurer may become satisfy its obligation to make
  782  such filings by becoming a member of, or a subscriber to, a
  783  licensed rating organization that which makes loss costs such
  784  filings and by authorizing the office to accept such filings in
  785  its behalf; but nothing contained in this chapter shall be
  786  construed as requiring any insurer to become a member or a
  787  subscriber to any rating organization.
  788         (6) A licensed rating organization may develop and file for
  789  approval with the office reference filings containing
  790  prospective loss costs and the underlying loss data, and other
  791  supporting statistical and actuarial information. A rating
  792  organization may not develop or file final rates or multipliers
  793  for expenses, profit, or contingencies. After a loss cost
  794  reference filing is filed with the office and is approved, the
  795  rating organization must provide its member subscribers with a
  796  copy of the approved reference filing.
  797         (7) A rating organization may file supplementary rating
  798  information and rules, including, but not limited to,
  799  policywriting rules, rating plan classification codes and
  800  descriptions, experience modification plans, statistical plans
  801  and forms, and rules that include factors or relativities, such
  802  as increased limits factors, classification relativities, or
  803  similar factors, but that exclude minimum premiums. An insurer
  804  may use supplementary rating information if such information is
  805  approved by the office.
  806         (8)(5) Pursuant to the provisions of s. 624.3161, the
  807  office may examine the underlying statistical data used in such
  808  filings.
  809         (9)(6) Whenever the committee of a recognized rating
  810  organization with authority to file prospective loss costs for
  811  use by insurers in determining responsibility for workers’
  812  compensation and employer’s liability insurance rates in this
  813  state meets to discuss the necessity for, or a request for,
  814  Florida rate increases or decreases in prospective loss costs in
  815  this state, the determination of prospective loss costs in this
  816  state Florida rates, the prospective loss costs rates to be
  817  requested in this state, and any other matters pertaining
  818  specifically and directly to prospective loss costs in this
  819  state such Florida rates, such meetings shall be held in this
  820  state and are shall be subject to s. 286.011. The committee of
  821  such a rating organization shall provide at least 3 weeks’ prior
  822  notice of such meetings to the office and shall provide at least
  823  14 days’ prior notice of such meetings to the public by
  824  publication in the Florida Administrative Register.
  825         (10) An insurer group with multiple insurers writing
  826  workers’ compensation and employer’s liability insurance shall
  827  file underwriting rules not contained in rating manuals.
  828         Section 15. Effective July 1, 2018, section 627.093,
  829  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  830         627.093 Application of s. 286.011 to workers’ compensation
  831  and employer’s liability insurances.—Section 286.011 shall be
  832  applicable to every prospective loss cost and rate filing,
  833  approval or disapproval of filing, rating deviation from filing,
  834  or appeal from any of these regarding workers’ compensation and
  835  employer’s liability insurances.
  836         Section 16. Effective July 1, 2018, subsection (1) of
  837  section 627.101, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  838         627.101 When filing becomes effective; workers’
  839  compensation and employer’s liability insurances.—
  840         (1) The office shall review all required filings as to
  841  workers’ compensation and employer’s liability insurances as
  842  soon as reasonably possible after they have been made in order
  843  to determine whether they meet the applicable requirements of
  844  this part. If the office determines that part of a required rate
  845  filing does not meet the applicable requirements of this part,
  846  it may reject so much of the filing as does not meet these
  847  requirements, and approve the remainder of the filing.
  848         Section 17. Effective July 1, 2018, section 627.211,
  849  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  850         627.211 Annual report by the office on the workers’
  851  compensation insurance market Deviations; workers’ compensation
  852  and employer’s liability insurances.—
  853         (1) Every member or subscriber to a rating organization
  854  shall, as to workers’ compensation or employer’s liability
  855  insurance, adhere to the filings made on its behalf by such
  856  organization; except that any such insurer may make written
  857  application to the office for permission to file a uniform
  858  percentage decrease or increase to be applied to the premiums
  859  produced by the rating system so filed for a kind of insurance,
  860  for a class of insurance which is found by the office to be a
  861  proper rating unit for the application of such uniform
  862  percentage decrease or increase, or for a subdivision of
  863  workers’ compensation or employer’s liability insurance:
  864         (a) Comprised of a group of manual classifications which is
  865  treated as a separate unit for ratemaking purposes; or
  866         (b) For which separate expense provisions are included in
  867  the filings of the rating organization.
  869  Such application shall specify the basis for the modification
  870  and shall be accompanied by the data upon which the applicant
  871  relies. A copy of the application and data shall be sent
  872  simultaneously to the rating organization.
  873         (2) Every member or subscriber to a rating organization
  874  may, as to workers’ compensation and employer’s liability
  875  insurance, file a plan or plans to use deviations that vary
  876  according to factors present in each insured’s individual risk.
  877  The insurer that files for the deviations provided in this
  878  subsection shall file the qualifications for the plans,
  879  schedules of rating factors, and the maximum deviation factors
  880  which shall be subject to the approval of the office pursuant to
  881  s. 627.091. The actual deviation which shall be used for each
  882  insured that qualifies under this subsection may not exceed the
  883  maximum filed deviation under that plan and shall be based on
  884  the merits of each insured’s individual risk as determined by
  885  using schedules of rating factors which shall be applied
  886  uniformly. Insurers shall maintain statistical data in
  887  accordance with the schedule of rating factors. Such data shall
  888  be available to support the continued use of such varying
  889  deviations.
  890         (3) In considering an application for the deviation, the
  891  office shall give consideration to the applicable principles for
  892  ratemaking as set forth in ss. 627.062 and 627.072 and the
  893  financial condition of the insurer. In evaluating the financial
  894  condition of the insurer, the office may consider: (1) the
  895  insurer’s audited financial statements and whether the
  896  statements provide unqualified opinions or contain significant
  897  qualifications or “subject to” provisions; (2) any independent
  898  or other actuarial certification of loss reserves; (3) whether
  899  workers’ compensation and employer’s liability reserves are
  900  above the midpoint or best estimate of the actuary’s reserve
  901  range estimate; (4) the adequacy of the proposed rate; (5)
  902  historical experience demonstrating the profitability of the
  903  insurer; (6) the existence of excess or other reinsurance that
  904  contains a sufficiently low attachment point and maximums that
  905  provide adequate protection to the insurer; and (7) other
  906  factors considered relevant to the financial condition of the
  907  insurer by the office. The office shall approve the deviation if
  908  it finds it to be justified, it would not endanger the financial
  909  condition of the insurer, and it would not constitute predatory
  910  pricing. The office shall disapprove the deviation if it finds
  911  that the resulting premiums would be excessive, inadequate, or
  912  unfairly discriminatory, would endanger the financial condition
  913  of the insurer, or would result in predatory pricing. The
  914  insurer may not use a deviation unless the deviation is
  915  specifically approved by the office. An insurer may apply the
  916  premiums approved pursuant to s. 627.091 or its uniform
  917  deviation approved pursuant to this section to a particular
  918  insured according to underwriting guidelines filed with and
  919  approved by the office, such approval to be based on ss. 627.062
  920  and 627.072.
  921         (4) Each deviation permitted to be filed shall be effective
  922  for a period of 1 year unless terminated, extended, or modified
  923  with the approval of the office. If at any time after a
  924  deviation has been approved the office finds that the deviation
  925  no longer meets the requirements of this code, it shall notify
  926  the insurer in what respects it finds that the deviation fails
  927  to meet such requirements and specify when, within a reasonable
  928  period thereafter, the deviation shall be deemed no longer
  929  effective. The notice shall not affect any insurance contract or
  930  policy made or issued prior to the expiration of the period set
  931  forth in the notice.
  932         (5) For purposes of this section, the office, when
  933  considering the experience of any insurer, shall consider the
  934  experience of any predecessor insurer when the business and the
  935  liabilities of the predecessor insurer were assumed by the
  936  insurer pursuant to an order of the office which approves the
  937  assumption of the business and the liabilities.
  938         (6) The office shall submit an annual report to the
  939  President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
  940  Representatives by January 15 of each year which evaluates
  941  insurance company solvency and competition in the workers’
  942  compensation insurance market in this state. The report must
  943  contain an analysis of the availability and affordability of
  944  workers’ compensation coverage and whether the current market
  945  structure, conduct, and performance are conducive to
  946  competition, based upon economic analysis and tests. The purpose
  947  of this report is to aid the Legislature in determining whether
  948  changes to the workers’ compensation rating laws are warranted.
  949  The report must also document that the office has complied with
  950  the provisions of s. 627.096 which require the office to
  951  investigate and study all workers’ compensation insurers in the
  952  state and to study the data, statistics, schedules, or other
  953  information as it finds necessary to assist in its review of
  954  workers’ compensation rate filings.
  955         Section 18. Effective July 1, 2018, section 627.2151,
  956  Florida Statutes, is created to read:
  957         627.2151 Workers’ compensation excessive defense and cost
  958  containment expenses.—
  959         (1) As used in this section, the term “defense and cost
  960  containment expenses” or “DCCE” includes the following Florida
  961  expenses of an insurer group or insurer writing workers’
  962  compensation insurance:
  963         (a) Insurance company attorney fees;
  964         (b) Expert witnesses;
  965         (c) Medical examinations and autopsies;
  966         (d) Medical fee review panels;
  967         (e) Bill auditing;
  968         (f) Treatment utilization reviews; and
  969         (g) Preferred provider network expenses.
  970         (2) Each insurer group or insurer writing workers’
  971  compensation insurance shall file with the office a schedule of
  972  Florida defense and cost containment expenses and total Florida
  973  incurred losses for each of the 3 years before the most recent
  974  accident year. The DCCE and incurred losses must be valued as of
  975  December 31 of the first year following the latest accident year
  976  to be reported, developed to an ultimate basis, and at two 12
  977  month intervals thereafter, each developed to an ultimate basis,
  978  so that a total of three evaluations will be provided for each
  979  accident year. The first year reported shall be accident year
  980  2018, so that the reporting of 3 accident years under this
  981  evaluation will not take place until accident years 2019 and
  982  2020 have become available.
  983         (3) Excessive DCCE occurs when an insurer includes in its
  984  rates Florida defense and cost containment expenses for workers’
  985  compensation which exceed 15 percent of Florida workers’
  986  compensation incurred losses by the insurer or insurer group for
  987  the 3 most recent calendar years for which data is to be filed
  988  under this section.
  989         (4) If the insurer or insurer group realizes excessive
  990  DCCE, the office must order a return of the excess amounts after
  991  affording the insurer or insurer group an opportunity for a
  992  hearing and otherwise complying with the requirements of chapter
  993  120. Excessive DCCE amounts must be returned in all instances
  994  unless the insurer or insurer group affirmatively demonstrates
  995  to the office that the refund of the excessive DCCE amounts will
  996  render a member of the insurer group financially impaired or
  997  will render it insolvent under provisions of the Florida
  998  Insurance Code.
  999         (5) Any excess DCCE amount must be returned to
 1000  policyholders in the form of a cash refund or credit toward the
 1001  future purchase of insurance. The refund or credit must be made
 1002  on a pro rata basis in relation to the final compilation year
 1003  earned premiums to the policyholders of record of the insurer or
 1004  insurer group on December 31 of the final compilation year. Cash
 1005  refunds and data in required reports to the office may be
 1006  rounded to the nearest dollar and must be consistently applied.
 1007         (6)(a) Refunds must be completed in one of the following
 1008  ways:
 1009         1. A cash refund must be completed within 60 days after
 1010  entry of a final order indicating that excessive DCCE has been
 1011  realized.
 1012         2. A credit to renewal policies must be applied to policy
 1013  renewal premium notices that are forwarded to insureds more than
 1014  60 calendar days after entry of a final order indicating that
 1015  excessive DCCE has been realized. If the insured thereafter
 1016  cancels a policy or otherwise allows the policy to terminate,
 1017  the insurer or insurer group must make a cash refund not later
 1018  than 60 days after coverage termination.
 1019         (b) Upon completion of the renewal credits or refunds, the
 1020  insurer or insurer group shall immediately certify having made
 1021  the refunds to the office.
 1022         (7) Any refund or renewal credit made pursuant to this
 1023  section is treated as a policyholder dividend applicable to the
 1024  year immediately succeeding the compilation period giving rise
 1025  to the refund or credit, for purposes of reporting under this
 1026  section for subsequent years.
 1027         Section 19. Effective July 1, 2018, section 627.291,
 1028  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1029         627.291 Information to be furnished insureds; appeal by
 1030  insureds; workers’ compensation and employer’s liability
 1031  insurances.—
 1032         (1) As to workers’ compensation and employer’s liability
 1033  insurances, every rating organization filing prospective loss
 1034  costs and every insurer which makes its own rates shall, within
 1035  a reasonable time after receiving written request therefor and
 1036  upon payment of such reasonable charge as it may make, furnish
 1037  to any insured affected by a rate made by it, or to the
 1038  authorized representative of such insured, all pertinent
 1039  information as to such rate.
 1040         (2) As to workers’ compensation and employer’s liability
 1041  insurances, every rating organization filing prospective loss
 1042  costs and every insurer which makes its own rates shall provide
 1043  within this state reasonable means whereby any person aggrieved
 1044  by the application of its rating system may be heard, in person
 1045  or by his or her authorized representative, on his or her
 1046  written request to review the manner in which such rating system
 1047  has been applied in connection with the insurance afforded him
 1048  or her. If the rating organization filing prospective loss costs
 1049  or the insurer making its own rates fails to grant or rejects
 1050  such request within 30 days after it is made, the applicant may
 1051  proceed in the same manner as if his or her application had been
 1052  rejected. Any party affected by the action of such rating
 1053  organization filing prospective loss costs or insurer making its
 1054  own rates on such request may, within 30 days after written
 1055  notice of such action, appeal to the office, which may affirm or
 1056  reverse such action.
 1057         Section 20. Effective July 1, 2018, section 627.318,
 1058  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1059         627.318 Records.—Every insurer, rating organization filing
 1060  prospective loss costs, and advisory organization and every
 1061  group, association, or other organization of insurers which
 1062  engages in joint underwriting or joint reinsurance shall
 1063  maintain reasonable records, of the type and kind reasonably
 1064  adapted to its method of operation, of its experience or the
 1065  experience of its members and of the data, statistics, or
 1066  information collected or used by it in connection with the
 1067  prospective loss costs, rates, rating plans, rating systems,
 1068  underwriting rules, policy or bond forms, surveys, or
 1069  inspections made or used by it, so that such records will be
 1070  available at all reasonable times to enable the office to
 1071  determine whether such organization, insurer, group, or
 1072  association, and, in the case of an insurer or rating
 1073  organization, every prospective loss cost, rate, rating plan,
 1074  and rating system made or used by it, complies with the
 1075  provisions of this part applicable to it. The maintenance of
 1076  such records in the office of a licensed rating organization of
 1077  which an insurer is a member or subscriber will be sufficient
 1078  compliance with this section for any such insurer maintaining
 1079  membership or subscribership in such organization, to the extent
 1080  that the insurer uses the prospective loss costs, rates, rating
 1081  plans, rating systems, or underwriting rules of such
 1082  organization. Such records shall be maintained in an office
 1083  within this state or shall be made available for examination or
 1084  inspection within this state by the department at any time upon
 1085  reasonable notice.
 1086         Section 21. Effective July 1, 2018, section 627.361,
 1087  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1088         627.361 False or misleading information.—No person shall
 1089  willfully withhold information from or knowingly give false or
 1090  misleading information to the office, any statistical agency
 1091  designated by the office, any rating organization, or any
 1092  insurer, which will affect the prospective loss costs, rates, or
 1093  premiums chargeable under this part.
 1094         Section 22. Effective July 1, 2018, subsections (1) and (2)
 1095  of section 627.371, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1096         627.371 Hearings.—
 1097         (1) Any person aggrieved by any rate charged, rating plan,
 1098  rating system, or underwriting rule followed or adopted by an
 1099  insurer, and any person aggrieved by any rating plan, rating
 1100  system, or underwriting rule followed or adopted by a rating
 1101  organization, may herself or himself or by her or his authorized
 1102  representative make written request of the insurer or rating
 1103  organization to review the manner in which the prospective loss
 1104  cost, rate, plan, system, or rule has been applied with respect
 1105  to insurance afforded her or him. If the request is not granted
 1106  within 30 days after it is made, the requester may treat it as
 1107  rejected. Any person aggrieved by the refusal of an insurer or
 1108  rating organization to grant the review requested, or by the
 1109  failure or refusal to grant all or part of the relief requested,
 1110  may file a written complaint with the office, specifying the
 1111  grounds relied upon. If the office has already disposed of the
 1112  issue as raised by a similar complaint or believes that probable
 1113  cause for the complaint does not exist or that the complaint is
 1114  not made in good faith, it shall so notify the complainant.
 1115  Otherwise, and if it also finds that the complaint charges a
 1116  violation of this chapter and that the complainant would be
 1117  aggrieved if the violation is proven, it shall proceed as
 1118  provided in subsection (2).
 1119         (2) If after examination of an insurer, rating
 1120  organization, advisory organization, or group, association, or
 1121  other organization of insurers which engages in joint
 1122  underwriting or joint reinsurance, upon the basis of other
 1123  information, or upon sufficient complaint as provided in
 1124  subsection (1), the office has good cause to believe that such
 1125  insurer, organization, group, or association, or any prospective
 1126  loss cost, rate, rating plan, or rating system made or used by
 1127  any such insurer or rating organization, does not comply with
 1128  the requirements and standards of this part applicable to it, it
 1129  shall, unless it has good cause to believe such noncompliance is
 1130  willful, give notice in writing to such insurer, organization,
 1131  group, or association stating therein in what manner and to what
 1132  extent noncompliance is alleged to exist and specifying therein
 1133  a reasonable time, not less than 10 days thereafter, in which
 1134  the noncompliance may be corrected, including any premium
 1135  adjustment.
 1136         Section 23. Effective July 1, 2017, the sums of $723,118 in
 1137  recurring funds and $100,000 in nonrecurring funds from the
 1138  Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund are appropriated to the Office
 1139  of Insurance Regulation, and eight full-time equivalent
 1140  positions with associated salary rate of 460,000 are authorized,
 1141  for the purpose of implementing this act.
 1142         Section 24. Effective July 1, 2017, the sum of $24,720 in
 1143  nonrecurring funds from the Operating Trust Fund is appropriated
 1144  to the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims within the
 1145  Division of Administrative Hearings for the purposes of
 1146  implementing this act.
 1147         Section 25. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
 1148  act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2017.