Citizens insure $586 billion worth of property, and they have just over $15 billion in their reserves to pay out on claims. If a major hurricane hit the state, they could be short over $571 billion, leaving everyone in the state on the hook to pay the shortfall.
The letter from the Senate committee investigating the state backed company expresses concern it may be unable to cover its losses. A claim the governor confirmed while visiting Fort Myers last year.
Mark Friedlander with the Insurance Information Institute said a private insurer would not be allowed to operate in the State of Florida with those financial dynamics.
Seven private companies went insolvent in the last year and a half in Florida.
“Citizens, unlike a private insurer, could never go insolvent,” Friedlander noted.
That’s because the state could initiate a hurricane tax to cover its costs which would require everyone who owns property or a car to pay a hurricane tax.
As of 2022, Citizens’ market share for homeowners multi-peril policies was approaching 20 percent, having more than doubled since 2020. As private insurers in Florida continue to go insolvent or exit the state, Citizens’ market share will likely continue to grow. At 20 percent market share, Citizens’ losses could be as high as $36 billion in the scenario studied by Swiss Re or $162 billion in the scenario studied by Cambridge and Munich Re (assuming that 60 percent of total losses are insured). If Citizens had to raise $162 billion to cover losses, that would result in an approximately $20,000 assessment for every homeowners insurance policyholder in Florida.
To that end, please respond to the following requests for information and documents by December 21, 2023:
1. What modeling or other analysis has Citizens done to estimate its total potential exposure to various worst case hurricane scenarios? What is the upper range of Citizens’ potential losses? Please provide all documents and communication relating to modeling, analysis, and estimates of Citizens’ potential losses.
2. What modeling or other analysis has Citizens done to estimate its market share over the next decade? What does Citizens project its market share to be in each of the next 10 years? Please provide all documents and communication relating to modeling, analysis, and estimates of Citizens’ future market share.
3. What modeling or other analysis has Citizens done to determine its ability to fully pay out claims resulting from various loss scenarios? Please provide all documents and communication relating to modeling, analysis, and estimates of Citizens’ financial position and (in)solvency under such scenarios.
4. What are Citizens’ current assets? What is Citizens’ total reinsurance coverage? What are the maximum total claims Citizens would be able to pay out without having to levy an assessment on Florida policyholders? Please provide all documents and communication relating to modeling, analysis, and estimates of Citizens’ current assets, reinsurance, and ability to pay claims.
5. What communications has Citizens had with Governor DeSantis, Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky, their staffs, or any other state officials regarding Citizens’ current or future solvency? Please provide copies of these communications.
6. What communications has Citizens had with Governor DeSantis, Insurance Commissioner Yaworsky, their staffs, or any other state officials regarding what Citizens and/or the State would do if Citizens were unable to cover its losses? Please provide copies of these communications.
7. Has Citizens contemplated asking for a federal bailout if it were unable to cover its losses? Has Citizens discussed the possibility of a federal bailout with Governor DeSantis, Insurance Commissioner Yaworsky, their staffs, or any other state officials? Please provide copies of these communications.
Even more, the health professionals who administer methadone — and another commonly used treatment drug called buprenorphine — say the medications enable people to find new jobs, to regain custody of their children and to more easily recover from the mind-altering effects of opioids.
Lugo is just one of the tens of thousands of people who benefitted from a methadone treatment program in Connecticut in recent years, but state officials want to see that number increase even more to combat the state’s ongoing epidemic.
A special advisory committee, set up to manage roughly $600 million in opioid settlement funds for Connecticut, published a report earlier this year that laid out several key strategies for curtailing opioid overdoes in the state, and it argued that increasing the accessibility and use of methadone and buprenorphine would be the most effective approach to stemming the mounting death toll.
The effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment, Sharfstein said, has been reviewed by the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
And research has suggested that the use of methadone and buprenorphine in treating opioid use disorders can substantially reduce people’s chances of fatally overdosing — some studies suggest by up to 50%.
“For a disease that is killing many Americans, that is a significant reduction in mortality that you can get with appropriate treatment that includes medications,” Sharfstein said. “And that I think is just an incredibly important point to keep in mind as officials are thinking about expanding access to treatment.”
Many countries, including the UK, have continued to experience an apparent excess of deaths long after the peaks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Numbers of excess deaths estimated in this period are considerable. The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) has calculated that there were 7.2% or 44,255 more deaths registered in the UK in 2022 based on comparison with the five-year average (excluding 2020). This persisted into 2023 with 8.6% or 28,024 more deaths registered in the first six months of the year than expected. The Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) found a similar excess (28,500 deaths) for the same period using different methods. Several methods can be used to estimate excess deaths, each with limitations which should be considered in interpretation, however the overall trends tend to be consistent across the various methods.
The causes of these excess deaths are likely to be multiple and could include the direct effects of Covid-19 infection, acute pressures on NHS acute services resulting in poorer outcomes from episodes of acute illness, and disruption to chronic disease detection and management. Further analysis by cause and by age- and sex-group may help quantify the relative contributions of these causes.
Since July 2020, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) has published estimates of excess mortality based on a Poisson regression model for England week by week, overall and decomposed by age, ethnicity, region and cause. This model finds that in the period from week ending 3rd June 2022 to 30th June 2023, excess deaths for all causes were relatively greatest for 50–64 year olds (15% higher than expected), compared with 11% higher for 25–49 and < 25 year olds, and about 9% higher for over 65 year old groups. While the median age of these groups has changed since 2020, age-standardised mortality analysis breaking down death rates by sex find clearer age differences still. The age-standardised CMI found similar patterns with the largest relative excess deaths for 2022 observed in young (20–44 years) and middle-aged (45–64 years) adults. These findings should be interpreted carefully because of greater than usual delay in registration of deaths in the latter part of 2022.
Several causes, including cardiovascular diseases, show a relative excess greater than that seen in deaths from all-causes (9%) over the same period (week ending 3rd June 2022–30th June 2023), namely: all cardiovascular diseases (12%), heart failure (20%), ischaemic heart diseases (15%), liver diseases (19%), acute respiratory infections (14%), and diabetes (13%).
For middle-aged adults (50–64) in this 13-month period, the relative excess for almost all causes of death examined was higher than that seen for all ages. Deaths involving cardiovascular diseases were 33% higher than expected, while for specific cardiovascular diseases, deaths involving ischaemic heart diseases were 44% higher, cerebrovascular diseases 40% higher and heart failure 39% higher. Deaths involving acute respiratory infections were 43% higher than expected and for diabetes, deaths were 35% higher. Deaths involving liver diseases were 19% higher than expected for those aged 50–64, the same as for deaths at all ages.
Looking at place of death, from 3rd June 2022 to 30th June 2023 there were 22% more deaths in private homes than expected compared with 10% more in hospitals, but there was no excess in deaths in care homes and 12% fewer deaths than expected in hospices. For deaths involving cardiovascular diseases the relative excess in private homes was higher than all causes at 27%. Deaths in hospital were 8% higher and deaths in care homes only 3% higher.
The greatest numbers of excess deaths in the acute phase of the pandemic were in older adults. The pattern now is one of persisting excess deaths which are most prominent in relative terms in middle-aged and younger adults, with deaths from CVD causes and deaths in private homes being most affected. Timely and granular analyses are needed to describe such trends and so to inform prevention and disease management efforts. Leveraging such granular insights has the potential to mitigate what seems to be a continued and unequal impact on mortality, and likely corresponding impacts on morbidity, across the population.
Author(s): Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard Sarah Caul Stuart McDonald Emily Whamond John N. Newton
Publication Date: 1 Dec 2023
Publication Site: The Lancet Regional Health Europe
When launching GFC in 2011 it was my hope that we would see meaningful pension reform by 2020, but we have failed to achieve that objective and the negative consequences for public services and taxpayers have been enormous. As evidence, just look at the four-fold explosion in annual pension spending by the Los Angeles Unified School District this year compared to ten years ago:
Pension spending will keep exploding. That’s because California’s public pension funds still have inadequate ratios of assets to liabilities despite more than $200 billion of pension contributions and a doubling of the stock market since 2013-14.
Pension reform is not the only thing I got wrong. I thought it would be even easier to terminate California’s unnecessary spending on other post-employment benefits (OPEB), especially after the creation of Obamacare and that program’s generous federal healthcare subsidies, but LAUSD alone is spending $365 million on OPEB this school year. Together, pensions and OPEB consume one of every six LAUSD dollars, leaving that much less for classrooms and salaries.
Many black women report feeling silenced or ignored by healthcare providers during their pregnancy journey.
“It is 2023 almost 2024, and in this time, we should not be dying in birth. Period. You may be the medical professional, and you may have great textbook knowledge and you may have many degrees, but nobody is in my body but me, and nobody can tell me that this pain that I’m feeling is not there,” King said.
This month New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the issue a crisis and a disgrace. Hochul announced more than $4 million in funding for regional perinatal centers and said doula services will now be covered for all Medicaid enrollees beginning January first.
In a statement, Governor Hochul said, “as the first mom and grandma to serve as Governor of New York, I’m committed to doing everything in my power to tackle the disturbing rise in infant mortality.”
Esther is hopeful the attacks on this issue from all fronts will lead to better outcomes for women and babies in the future.
Seven months into what was predicted to be the biggest upheaval in the 58-year history of the government health insurance program for people with low incomes and disabilities, states have reviewed the eligibility of more than 28 million people and terminated coverage for over 10 million of them. Millions more are expected to lose Medicaid in the coming months.
The unprecedented enrollment drop comes after federal protections ended this spring that had prohibited states from removing people from Medicaid during the three pandemic years. Since March 2020, enrollment in Medicaid and the related Children’s Health Insurance Program had surged by more than 22 million to reach 94 million people.
The process of reviewing all recipients’ eligibility has been anything but smooth for many Medicaid enrollees. Some are losing coverage without understanding why. Some are struggling to prove they’re still eligible. Recipients and patient advocates say Medicaid officials sent mandatory renewal forms to outdated addresses, miscalculated income levels, and offered clumsy translations of the documents. Attempting to process the cases of tens of millions of people at the same time also has exacerbated long-standing weaknesses in the bureaucratic system. Some suspect particular states have used the confusing system to discourage enrollment.
Author(s): Phil Galewitz and Katheryn Houghton and Brett Kelman and Samantha Liss