Bureau of Insurance issues cease and desist order in fraudulent insurance scheme

GARDINER — Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa today announced that four companies must cease doing business in Maine and pay civil penalties in the amount of $260,000, in addition to restitution and interest, resulting from a fraudulent health insurance scheme.  Following a June 20, 2012, hearing, United States Contractors Trust (USCT), Real Benefits Association (RBA), Metropolitan Business Alliance, LLC (also known as National Association of Business Leadership, NABL), and Access Health Now (AHN) were found to have violated Maine’s insurance laws and were ordered to stop doing business in Maine and to pay benefits due under existing policies.

As a result of consumer complaints of unpaid medical bills, the Bureau of Insurance initiated an investigation and found that USCT, RBA, and NABL engaged in unlicensed insurance transactions, and AHN assisted in these transactions.  Maine law prohibits anyone from acting as an insurance company or administrator without being authorized by the Superintendent.  USCT was also found in violation of Maine’s unfair claims practices statute that requires an insurer to deal with policyholders’ claims in good faith.

“Unlicensed insurance activities must be reported and stopped,” Superintendent Cioppa commented. “Maine policyholders paid their premiums, but received little to no benefit in return.  Anyone seeking to purchase insurance can always contact the Bureau to make sure the company is licensed in Maine.”

Consumers and providers who have not received payment for medical bills from these companies are encouraged to notify the Bureau.  For further assistance, Maine consumers should contact the Bureau by phone at (207) 624-8475 or toll-free at (800) 300-5000 and ask for Kelly Rogers. They can also contact the Bureau by e-mail at insurance.pfr@maine.gov (include USCT/NABL in the subject line); or by mail: USCT/NABL Consumer Assistance, Maine Bureau of Insurance, 34 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333-0034.  A copy of the cease and desist order is available here.

The Bureau of Insurance is part of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation which encourages sound ethical business practices through high quality, impartial and efficient regulation of insurers, financial institutions, creditors, investment providers, and numerous professions and occupations for the purpose of protecting the citizens of Maine. Consumers can reach the Bureau through its web site at www.maine.gov/insurance; by calling 800-300-5000 in state; or by writing to Bureau of Insurance, 34 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333.

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