Friday, May 14, 2010

WA insurance commissioner orders Nevada company to stop selling illegal health insurance products in Washington

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has ordered a Nevada company and the individuals behind it to stop selling illegal health insurance products to Washingtonians.

The order names Pinnacle Health Solutions, LLC, also known as Pinnacle Health Care, and company managers James Parish, Nicholas Wall and “Michael Schultz.” (Schultz is believed to be a pseudonym.)

They previously marketed health insurance products from the American Trade Association, which was named in an earlier order. Since then, the company and these men have continued to advertise and sell other unauthorized health insurance and unlicensed health care discount cards in Washington.

Kreidler on Thursday issued a cease and desist order against the company and the three men, ordering them to stop “engaging in or transacting the unauthorized business of insurance or unlicensed discount plans in the state of Washington.” They are barred from collecting premiums or fees, and cannot advertise or sell such products.

They must also:

• Provide Kreidler’s office with a list of all Washingtonians who have purchased their products.

• Inform all Washington customers about the order.

• And, upon request by any policyholder, replace any illegal coverage with a policy from an authorized insurer.

Washington state insurance investigators have seen a recurring pattern in which companies banned from doing illegal business in the state have attempted to shift their customers to other groups which are also peddling unauthorized insurance products. In a recent letter to an American Trade Association customer, for example, Pinnacle said that benefits were being shifted to a new entity: Best Benefits Association.

Best Benefits Association is also not authorized to sell insurance products in Washington.

Any Washington resident contacted by Pinnacle, Best Benefits Association, or any American Trade Association marketer is encouraged to contact the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner at 1-800-562-6900.