N.D. Commissioner Halts Benefit Plan Operations

October 30, 2003

North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman has issued a cease and desist order against My Smart Benefits, Inc., an Indiana company that administers self-funded employee benefit plans for
several employers in the state.

The Commissioner has ordered My Smart Benefits, Inc. to immediately stop selling new plans in North Dakota, but also requires the company to administer their existing plans. The order arises in response to reported complaints of late payments or non-payment of benefits and concerns the Department has about the company’s financial and administrative competency to pay claims.

Poolman said, “Our job here is to make sure North Dakota consumers are being protected. We will continue to investigate the actions and financial status of My Smart Benefits, Inc. by working in cooperation
with the Indiana Department of Insurance and the U.S. Department of Labor. I will also ask the North Dakota Attorney General’s office to investigate as well. We will do whatever we can to help consumers who are having trouble getting their claims paid.”

The Insurance Department started to receive complaints about My Smart Benefits, Inc. last May, when the company was reportedly slow in paying some claims. The Department continued to monitor the situation over the summer, but after recent contact with many My Smart Benefits customers it has been determined that My Smart Benefits reportedly does not have the financial capacity to properly service North Dakota consumers.

Poolman added, “Late payments can be a red-flag that a company is having financial difficulties. We also have reason to believe the company may have laid off most, if not all, of its employees. Obviously, we are very concerned that the company may have neither the proper staff, nor the financial ability to handle claims payments.”

The Department asked that any holders of unpaid claims or anyone with questions regarding their benefit plan purchased through My Smart Benefits, Inc. contact the Department at 1-800-247-0560.

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