Unless you live in Seattle or follow Aetna Life Insurance Company fairly closely, you may have missed this news item, but we think it’s important enough to bring to your attention. A $1 million dollar fine isn’t the end of the world for an insurance company, but it does send a sharp message that a state insurance commissioner is keeping an eye on common practices.
According to the Seattle Times article, Aetna’s misdoings concerned policies that were lacking Information on state-mandated coverage or information about the state appeals and grievance process in the policies and in other cases rates and benefits were not approved for sale in Washington.
Check out the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s own site, where the specifics add up fast. Among them: Aetna sold health, disability or life insurance policies to 4,400 people that were not filed for approval with Washington State. For three years, Aetna sold a health policy that had been disapproved.
The fact that the violations took place over several years, starting in 2005, tells us that compliance with the state of Washington’s insurance laws was not a top priority for Aetna. Imagine if the policy was yours and you were fighting in Aetna to get payments, only to find out that the policy was not approved for sale?
One last note – every state has a State Insurance Commissioner whose responsibility is to ensure that the insurance companies follow the letter of the law. If you want to contact your state’s commissioner, follow this link to find out who they are and how to reach them.
If you have a problem with your disability insurance policy, call our office today to find out how we can help.