Florida to collect $1.7 million as part of multi-state settlement with HealthMarkets Inc.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today announced that Florida will receive $1.7 million dollars as its share of a $20 million multi-state settlement agreement among 29 jurisdictions and HealthMarkets Inc., and its affiliated companies, MEGA Life and Health Insurance Co, Mid-West National Life Insurance Co. and Chesapeake Life Insurance Co.
In 2007, these companies collected nearly $115 million in premium from over 43, 000 Floridians.
“I am pleased with this settlement because it spells out specific protections for Florida consumers and policyholders nationwide,” said Commissioner McCarty. “We will continue to monitor these companies to ensure they implement the corrective actions outlined in the settlement.”
According to the terms of the agreement, the companies must implement an outreach program that includes the following:
- Sending a notice to all policyholders with policies issued prior to Aug. 1, 2005, that includes a toll-free number, mailing address and e-mail address where policyholders can ask questions about their coverage. The notice also must include a Web site address for each company.
- Ensuring each method of communication is staffed by someone able to provide detailed information about the policyholder’s specific plan.
- Establishing a Web site with a “frequently asked questions” section, general coverage descriptions, a listing of contact information and information on how to appeal a claim or file a grievance.
In addition, the companies must report progress twice a year through Dec. 31, 2009, on performance standards targeted for improvement.
Because the companies were the targets of investigations and consumer complaints in several states a multi-state examination was initiated as a collaborative action through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The multi-state examination covered a five-year period ending Dec. 31, 2005.
The $20 million penalty will be divided among the participating jurisdictions based on the companies’ premium volume.
for a copy of the regulatory settlement agreement.
for a copy of the market conduct examination report.