Friday, June 23, 2006

Book 'em Dano

The U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday that it has obtained a consent order against a Coeur d'Alene health-insurance benefit-plan management company.

The department said ePEO Link Inc. Group Accident and Health ERISA Medical Care Plan, and its principals, will be barred from serving as fiduciaries or service providers to any employee benefit plan governed by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA.

A settlement will result in payment of $2.37 million toward the ePEO Link plan's unpaid health claims, Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.

"The defendants' misconduct caused workers and their families to be burdened with millions of dollars in unpaid health claims," Chao said. "I am pleased that the court barred the defendants from ever again being in a position to harm workers by mismanaging employee benefit plans."

And . . .

The ePEO Link health plan provided health benefit services as a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) to approximately 1,500 employees of participating employers in 22 states. The department sued ePEO Link and IPIS in 2005, alleging that the defendants failed to properly evaluate and underwrite benefits, collect sufficient contributions to pay promised benefits, adequately fund the plan and maintain reserves, obtain appropriate reinsurance and maintain plan reports and records required by the plan. Olmstead was separately charged with receiving commissions from the plan's contracts with re-insurers
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