November 19, 2004

State/Federal Exam of Disability Claims Practices Settled

During 2003 and 2004, fifty states and the District of Columbia joined in a market conduct exam of three life insurers that have now agreed to pay $15 million in fines and to change disability benefits claims practices. The U.S. Dept. of Labor, which conducted a parallel investigation of employee benefit plan practices under authority of ERISA, joined the settlement announced November 18.

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Lead signatories of the agreement include Maine, Massachusetts, Tennessee and New York. "This action is one of the most significant multistate insurance regulatory actions in history, providing a uniform, verifiable and effective state-based settlement for the benefit of UnumProvident policyholders nationwide," said Maine Superintendent Iuppa in an press release Nov. 18.

The Maine Bureau of Insurance has a "UNUMProvident Multistate Examination/Settlement Agreements" page online containing links to a Q&A, the Multistate Exam Report, the Settlement Agreements with Unum Life, Provident Life, Paul Revere Life and First Unum Life with supporting exhibits.

Recent N.Y. A.G. lawsuits alleging kickbacks and bid-rigging and Senate oversight hearings on insurance broker practices have raised an issue whether current state regulation of insurance is adequate, or whether more federal oversight is necessary.

Thanks to the email bulletin from the NAIC Pressroom for the pointer to this news.

Posted by dougsimpson at November 19, 2004 07:15 AM | TrackBack