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Unethical Insurer

New York, NY: (Oct-10-07) The Massachusetts attorney general's office brought charges against Insurer HealthMarkets, alleging that an investigation revealed that the insurer engaged in unethical business practices in Delaware. The company, which covers 650,000 people in 44 states, has long been a focus of regulators, often about questions of whether its agents fully explain policies to prospective customers. Records show that the firm sells an array of plans, many of which pay only limited amounts toward medical care.

As part of a settlement reached, the insurer, currently under investigation by 36 states, and facing a lawsuit by the Massachusetts attorney general, agreed to pay up to $500,000 to settle allegations. Sources stated that the firm, whose insurance subsidiaries include Mega Life and Mid-West National, stands to reduce the fine to $100,000 if it complies with all the terms of the settlement. The settlement includes a revamping of several procedural guidelines to secure consumer interests. The company announced that it has already complied with many of the requirements of the Delaware settlement and does not expect to pay more than $100,000 as a result. The company said it has pro actively implemented and continues to implement a wide range of changes and improvements designed to enhance customer service, customer education and agent training. [USA TODAY: UNETHICAL INSURANCE]

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Published on Oct-11-07


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