HealthMarkets facing multistate probe

September 6, 2007

Insurance regulators in 36 states are investigating the sales practices of two insurance companies owned by HealthMarkets, a report says.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley last month charged Mega Life and Mid-West National of deception and unfair practices for allegedly not telling customers that standard health insurance policies didn't cover things like office visits, prescription drugs or chemotherapy, USA Today said Wednesday.

The company has been fined by seven states in the past five years.

HealthMarkets Chief Executive Officer William Gedwed, who took over in 2003, said the company denies and disagrees with the allegation in the Massachusetts attorney general's lawsuit.

"From at least 2003 on, we've put a tremendous amount of effort into ensuring we do things the way regulators want," he said.

Gedwed said HealthMarkets began making follow-up phone calls to new customers starting in 2005 to make sure they understood their policies, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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