Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Mild Slap on the Wrist

HealthMarket, parent of Mega Life, Midwest National Life and Chesapeake is in hot water again.

HealthMarket sells mostly to the self employed via the NASE (National Association for the Self Employed). Their marketing arm includes UGA and Cornerstone.

Following a 36 state investigation, HealthMarket has been fined $20,000,000.

The investigation, prompted by numerous complaints, found that insurer HealthMarkets failed to properly train its sales agents, who didn't always fully disclose the limits of its health policies to consumers and sometimes did not pay for medical services promptly.

HealthMarket carriers offer limited benefit plans that often fail to pay the majority of bills for a major claim.

If HealthMarkets does not resolve its problems, it could face up to $10 million in additional fines. Last year, it took in $1.6 billion and posted net income of $70.2 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents.

The fines are a mere slap on the wrist compared to the financial loss incurred by those who have purchased their plans.
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