Insurance regulators from 29 states have reached a $20 million settlement with HealthMarkets and its subsidiaries over the insurers claims and complaint handling practices.
HealthMarkets faces up to $10 million in additional penalties if it fails to meet performance measures outlined in the settlement.
The probe started in 2005 and stemmed from consumer complaints. Under the terms of the agreement, HealthMarkets must implement an outreach program to policyholders, such as informing them of a customer-care toll-free line and Internet address; provide clear information about how to file a grievance; and staff customer-care centers with people trained to provide detailed information about each policyholders specific plan.
Officials from HealthMarkets said in a statement that they have already implemented many of these changes.
HealthMarkets, based in North Richland Hills, Texas, is a health and life insurance company with members in 44 states through its subsidiaries: Mid-West National Life Insurance Company of Tennessee, MEGA Life and Health Insurance, and Chesapeake Life Insurance. In the settlement, HealthMarkets denied any wrongdoing. -- by Rebecca Vesely
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