New York regulators effectively shut down an unlicensed, Albany-based health plan that sold policies to approximately 200 people primarily in Long Island and New York City. Under the terms of a settlement reached yesterday, Marketing Business Associates of America and its owners agreed to put up more than $100,000 to pay claims for healthcare services that should be covered under the plan. It also agreed to a court-ordered injunction against operating an unlicensed health plan in the future. The lawsuit, filed by state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and state Superintendent of Insurance Gregory Serio, alleged that the MBAA and others involved with the health plan, called Universal Value Care, engaged in deceptive business practices and failed to show they had adequate reserves to pay promised benefits. The settlement also calls for the owners and operators to pay a total of $39,500 in financial penalties and $2,000 each in costs. Three licensed insurance brokers who sold the plan also are required to pay fines ranging from $1,500 to $7,000. National Administrative Services of Albany, which provided services to the unlicensed health plan, must also pay a penalty of $1,500. -- by Cinda Becker
Unlicensed N.Y.-based health plan shut down
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