They thought their business can carry on without getting the attention of the authority. But have they lost their mind and forgot about their supposed clients? Good thing the Missouri regulators are now working hard to shut down over a dozen companies that promise health plans but have allegedly left consumers with thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills.
Currently, there are 14 companies and 12 individuals summoned by the consumer affairs division of the Missouri Department of Insurance. The companies have been ordered to appear at a hearing on Feb. 17 to respond to the charges and could face cease-and-desist orders and a $250,000 fine. In totality, the department has received complaints from about 150 consumers that paid these companies for services that were advertised as insurance, using phrases like “PPO,” “Group Health Plan” and “dependent coverage.”
The state initiated administrative enforcement proceedings against Affinity Group Benefits Association Inc.; American Trade Association; Americans for Affordable Healthcare Inc.; Beema-Pakistan Assurance Ltd. a/k/a Beema-Pakistan Co. Ltd.; Key Benefits Administrators Inc.; National Alliance of Associations; National Trade Business Alliance of America; Peak Membership Alliance; Professional Benefits Consultants a/k/a PBC Direct a/k/a Professional Benefit Consultants of Del. Inc.; Real Benefits Association; Serve America Assurance Ltd. a/k/a Serve America Assurance Ltd. Co. a/k/a Serve America Assurance; Smart Data Solutions LLC; Spencer & Associates LLC; Christopher Ashiotes; Richard Bachman; Earnest Beall; David Clark; James Doyle; Obed Kirkpatrick; Bart Posey Sr.; Thomas Sullivan; William Worthy; and Colin Youell.
“State law provides severe punishment for any company selling unauthorized health plans in Missouri,” said John Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration, in a statement. “Many Missourians found out the hard way that these plans are not the comprehensive insurance they signed up for. Instead, some of them are left with massive unpaid medical bills